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Hi, I’m Aaron Simon, an engineer in the HFL Segment in Carpinteria. Like other locations, we place top priority on succeeding as a company. That’s why we work hard, but we also make sure that we have plenty of fun – and give back to our community. It’s hard to believe that the Continental values could be taken more seriously than they are here. From an employee’s very first day with us in Carpinteria (USA), they are encouraged to live the values of Trust, Passion To Win, Freedom To Act, and For One Another. HFL stands for “Hi-Res Flash LIDAR.” Our segment is part of the ADAS business unit in the Chassis & Safety division. Since our launch two years ago we have grown to a team of 96, which includes software developers, e-technicians and experts for semiconductors, lasers and optics. We work together on the 3D Flash LIDAR, a laser sensor used in automated driving.
Pancakes for everyone
13,000 people live in Carpinteria, which is located some 20 kilometers east of Santa Barbara directly on California’s Pacific coast. So it’s the perfect place to have fun, both during and after work. We make the most of our fantastic location and office culture – from beachfront BBQs to running, surfing, volleyball and basketball. Employees can wear their favorite sports team’s jersey on Sports Shirt Fridays. And flip pancakes and scramble up eggs at our early morning potlucks.
We also like to celebrate – whether acknowledging our successes or welcoming new babies. In October we celebrated HFL’s second anniversary with an evening of food, fun and entertainment with our families. We are there for each other – even when working hours are over. Does that sound a bit cheesy? Maybe. But we also give back to the community. In 2017 HFL participated in the local Save the Bluffs event. Millions of dollars were raised to preserve the Carpinteria Bluffs from commercial development. We have also partnered with the local Job Smart program, which helps low-income people to be ready and able to work by providing them with appropriate attire so they can put their best foot forward when meeting potential employers.
Ideas on the wall
HFL believes in the importance of communication. We hold regular townhall meetings and “Lunch and Learn” sessions and share feedback from industry shows – so all employees, regardless of department, are up to date on what we are doing. Our office layout encourages open communication, with large open spaces, glass walls for transparency, and “wink walls” – which is literally a wall that you can write ideas on. Employees can drink coffee and discuss business in one of our multiple collaboration areas. If you get tired of sitting, you can go to our health corner and work online while pedaling a stationary bicycle. We also have fluid stance boards so that you can stand comfortably at your adjustable desk. And last but not least, our ten large skylights ensure that no one misses out on the sunny weather. Hey, we’re in California!