From all over the world

Not only the company is international; the staff are, too. SCHERDEL invited us to meet some of them. During the conversation, the numbers 9,000, 5,000, 1,500 and 400 came up. What do they mean? The mystery is soon resolved: they are the number of kilometres from Marienberg to the SCHERDEL workers’ native countries. Koetsu Hashiba, Vice President of the joint venture TOGO SCHERDEL GmbH, has a clear lead: he comes from Japan. The spring manufacturer TOGO has been cooperating with SCHERDEL since 2003. The biggest car manufacturers in Europe and Japan count among their customers. Hashiba has been here in Marienberg since 2008. He talks about being the only Japanese person here with humour and pride. Nine thousand kilometres is really something, he says. He has settled in and feels at home in Marienberg with his wife and two daughters.

  • Work
  • Region

Multilingual training

Two of the SCHERDEL apprentices are the twin brothers Sana Mohammed and Sultan Mohammed Kakar. They came from Afghanistan in 2015, the 5,000 kilometres they travelled putting them in a firm second place in the discussion. After a 6-month German course, the Kakar brothers went to the Olbernhau grammar school, where they heard a lot about the SCHERDEL company. They went on to do a work placement and then training. Instructor Ronny Ullmann is delighted by the twins’ language skills, especially as they have even picked up a little Ore Mountain dialect. Various languages come up frequently in our conversation. The Kakar twins alone speak seven: the main Afghan languages of Pashtun and Dari, the Pakistani language Urdu, the Indian language Hindi, Persian from Iran, English and German. In their free time, they thus help out as translators for the refugee services run by the Diakonie social welfare organisation.

Michael Krasiuk brings with him yet another language and a whole new story. He is employed in the financial control department, having travelled more than 1,500 kilometres from the Ukraine to Chemnitz with his entire family in 2014. The family has German ancestors and came to Germany through the regulations on ethnic German resettlers. These are enshrined in the Basic Law, allowing German minorities to immigrate from Eastern Europe. Michael Krasiuk studied finance and was happy to find such a big company near Chemnitz in need of an experienced controller.

Kamila Bartsch-Jurčová also comes from Eastern Europe; the Czech Republic, to be precise. As an executive assistant, she is the CEO's right hand. In terms of distance, she smiles, she can bring just 400 kilometres to the table. Having been in Germany since 2011, Kamila Bartsch-Jurčová has had lots of funny experiences while learning German and the Ore Mountain dialect. Many co-workers, she says, no longer even see her as Czech. Which is no great surprise, considering that she started learning German in school.

„What really counts is openness and a willingness to get to know one another. That way, you can overcome any initial language barriers.“

Despite the huge differences in the cultures, languages and personal stories of those sitting around the table, they have all settled in very well. Koetsu Hashiba is animated: “The landscape and the towns here in the Ore Mountains are very different to the German regions I had visited before.” He and his family feel very much at home in the lovely surroundings. They live in the centre of Marienberg, which Hashiba describes as very practical: they can walk to all the shops and their daughter can get to her grammar school on foot. Michael Krasiuk describes how a lot of things were new and unusual to him when he first arrived in Germany, especially on the road: “In Kiev we drive a bit faster”, he laughs. Now, he goes on, he loves travelling the region’s excellent road network – in a good German car, of course. We laugh.

The SCHERDEL team has successfully integrated 62 workers from other countries. “What really counts is openness and a willingness to get to know one another. That way, you can overcome any initial language barriers. I'm surprised how quickly we find common ground as we work together”, comments Ronny Ullmann, the local. 9,000, 5,000, 1,500, 400 kilometres – at the end of our conversation, we realise that, by pure coincidence, we have been sitting around the table in exactly that order. And it makes no difference whether they all ended up in Marienberg more or less by chance, or not. For the SCHERDEL workers, the main thing is that these nice co-workers from all over the world are here to stay.

This story is also told on the website Erzgebirge.
Text: Carsten Schulz-Nötzold
Photographs: Karla Mohr/Regionalmanagement Erzgebirge