STIHL Virginia Beach, one of several manufacturing facilities in the STIHL Group, is the headquarters for U.S. operations. STIHL Inc. employs over 2,100 people nationwide, with more than 1,900 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There are positions in a variety of areas including manufacturing, product assembly, engineering, machining, tool making, polymers & plastics, sales and marketing, and finance.
STIHL Inc. manufactures over 260 model variations of handheld outdoor power equipment and is the #1 selling brand of power equipment worldwide. STIHL products are sold through a network of over 8,000 servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast - not mass merchants.
The Virginia Beach headquarters is located on approximately 150 acres with over two million square feet under roof, where the company produces a full line of high-quality, handheld outdoor power equipment including blowers, trimmers, brush cutters, and multi-task tools, as well as the number one selling brand of chain saw worldwide*.
STIHL Inc. provides a stable manufacturing facility where its employees enjoy competitive compensation, excellent benefits and exciting growth opportunities. Please continue to research this site and learn how you can become a member of the STIHL team!
*A majority of STIHL products are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components. "Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2012 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
© 2013 STIHL
STIHL offers an attractive benefits package that far surpasses what many of our competitors offer. STIHL quality is also found in our benefit programs.
From excellent health care choices to product discounts, from tuition reimbursement to retirement savings tools, STIHL Inc. offers a rich, comprehensive array of associate benefits.
We are proud to offer our customers the best in power tools, and are equally proud to offer our employees the best in benefits. Invest in your future today - explore employment opportunities with STIHL!
At Work With | Brian Gray, journeyman tool-and-die maker, Stihl Inc., Va. Beach
© September 28, 2014
As told to Pilot business editor Dave Mayfield
I was born and raised here, just outside of Town Center. When I was young, I was really into roller coaster design. That’s what I wanted to do. I went to Princess Anne High School and through the Advanced Technology Center my junior and senior years.
Stihl is a partner with the center. But I first heard about Stihl because my father worked for Land & Coates (a Stihl dealer). I started with Stihl a couple of months after I graduated from high school in 2007.
That first day, the cafeteria wasn’t too terribly far away from where I worked. But on a half-hour lunch break, it took me 20 minutes to find it. I ended up having to go outside and around to find it. Going through the plant to find it – it wasn’t happening. This place is absolutely enormous.
I was coming in pretty much blind. I had no idea what it was like inside the walls of a manufacturing environment, how fast-paced it is. It was incredibly fast-paced.
I started out in crankshaft machining. I was a full-time temporary … and then an apprenticeship opportunity came open for me. It was a four-year program. I worked full time during the day and then went after hours to Tidewater Community College, which is where I started my engineering degree. After the apprenticeship, I earned a position in tool and die.
Our shop makes the fixtures that are used on the assembly lines – things that hold the parts so that the line workers can assemble them (into chain saws or other outdoor power tools) or machines can come pick them up. We also make parts for plastic injection molding. That’s really our main two niches, right there.
I’ve made thousands of parts. Oh, man, there’s absolutely enormous numbers of parts that we make in this shop in a year.
But there aren’t too many jobs where we make a lot of the same thing. We’re pretty much a custom shop.
Basically, I take (blue)prints directly from the engineers and use those prints and come up with a process to manufacture a part to the specifications – sometimes tolerances of 10 microns, which would be the thickness of a piece of paper divided by 10.
Getting something that’s absolutely new and requires many hours of work and extreme thinking – that’s what I absolutely enjoy. It’s not uncommon for a part like that to cost tens of thousands of dollars by the time you’ve finished it.
Probably about half to three quarters of my time is spent planning how to actually make something. Most of the machines we use to do that are computer-controlled, so they require programming.
Something I’m making right now is a component, a clamp piece, that goes into the carriers we use to get parts down the assembly line. It helps hold the (chain saw) powerhead in place while the operators do their assembly.
I’m making that piece on a wire EDM, a wire electrical discharge machine. We just call it “the wire.”
I’m the only operator for it. Nobody else operates this thing.
It uses a wire (to create an electrical arc) to burn through material to extremely tight tolerances, ten-thousandths of an inch. The wire itself actually never touches the material that’s being cut.
Without the machine even being attended, we’re making parts now during the night to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
When I go home each afternoon, I have a sequence of jobs that I plan to run that evening. I have to make sure that everything I need is in place for those parts to run overnight. Sometimes it’s just one part. Sometimes it’s 10. It all depends on the part.
Sometimes when I come in in the morning, it’s still going.
Hopefully one day, this job will lead to a manufacturing engineering position here, so that instead of making the fixtures, I’d be designing the fixtures. Then somebody else would be making the parts on “the wire” for me.
Living in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Located in historic southeastern Virginia, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, you'll find a city called "home" by over 430,000 residents. Welcome to Virginia Beach! Virginia Beach's economy boasts a wide realm of tourism, business and industry, agriculture, and the outlying Norfolk Naval Base; the largest Navy base in the world.
In addition to Virginia Beach, you'll find the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and Newport News complementing the surrounding areas and making up the Greater Hampton Roads Metropolitan Area.
I have been working at STIHL Incorporated full-time (More than 5 years)
Great benefits, great work life balance, above average pay. The pros still far out weigh the cons.
Rising heath care costs have dampened benefits. A very strict attendance policy has worsened causing employees to lose a week of potential vacation. JIT mindset has created a highly reactive environment that in my opinion is reducing quality, and production. Skilled labor and engineering are stretched thin for the work load supported, so corner are often cut to keep up with demands.
Advice to Management
Beef up the support and inventory. We have shattered records every year.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at STIHL Incorporated (Virginia Beach, VA) in June 2015.
I turned in a resume and they flew me out there, with a statement from the recruiter that he was referring me for the position. Had to take two vacation days to go to this place. Interview went very well. Probably the best interview of my life. What they didn't bother to tell me is that the employee who had vacated the position wanted to come back. I feel like I was treated like an office politics pawn just so they could say they interviewed several people before taking their old employee back. I feel like the whole process was dishonest. I answered every question asked. One guy said I didn't answer a question thoroughly enough. If you wanted more information out of me, you should have asked me directly what you wanted to know. I can't read minds. I'm sorry, but I didn't even put that I'm a mind reader on my resume. Just a bad experience. Interviewers need to ask concise questions. If you didn't like my answer, give me a chance to fix it. There was a lot more to my story than what they asked me. Just left me feeling devastated. They totally led me on and just crushed me in the end.