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Jay Gusler: Manufacturing - A Rewarding Career Choice in the Digital Age

Thursday, 13 Oct 2016 ( #791 )
Your Focus
Jay Gusler
Jay Gusler is vice president of operations at Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA).

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There’s an element of pride in seeing your work come to life. This has been a constant in the world of manufacturing – the idea of designing, engineering, fabricating and assembling a product from the ground up and being part of a team that made it happen.

Many working outside of manufacturing are not able to physically watch the results of their hard work take shape. It’s a common reality – especially now during a time when nearly everything is focused on digital.

According to Manufacturing Day partners, approximately 3.5 million US manufacturing jobs will be needed over the next 10 years. That’s a fairly significant number of jobs, and a statistic that shines the spotlight on manufacturing as a viable career option.

In 2012, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) started the National Manufacturing Day movement to address the misconceptions of manufacturing. Every year, Manufacturing Day takes place on the first Friday in October, with manufacturers opening their facilities to raise awareness for manufacturing as a career path – with a particular focus on educating youth.

Manufacturing Day

I’ve been fortunate to work in the manufacturing industry for 27 years. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business, I started my career at Rapidparts Inc., an MCFA subsidiary, and eventually transitioned to MCFA. MCFA’s employees recognise MCFA as a family-based culture, while still being focused on the root of our mission – to deliver the best forklifts available in the market. Like other manufacturers, MCFA provides employees with first-hand experience to bring a product to life, one that touches everything in our homes, offices and local businesses.

So what does a career in manufacturing look like - and what does it take to get here?

MCFA requires potential employees interested in joining our manufacturing team to demonstrate a strong commitment to working – being on the job each and every day, on time and ready to work. Most painters and welders usually have practical experience in their trade before joining MCFA, while assemblers generally learn from on-the-job training.

Once hired, we invest in our employees with training: a two-week orientation, on-the-job training and shadowing with a crew leader, in addition to hands-on training in our lab, learning to torque, install and assemble components. Safety training is another key component, where we help instil the pride of MCFA’s 100% initiative and culture – 100% safety, 100% quality and 100% on-time delivery.

Working in manufacturing often fosters a feeling of accomplishment shared between peers. And it’s more than "just a job" to pay the bills. New employees can make this occupation a long-term and fulfilling career, as have many of our long-term employees who have been with MCFA for 10, 20, even 30 years.

Have you considered that every item you own has been touched at least once by a forklift?

Whether it was moving the raw material used to create a product or bringing your favourite item to a store’s shelves, a forklift played a major role in the production and distribution of everything you own. As a forklift manufacturer, we build products that impact businesses and people all over the world.

The unique sense of accomplishment, teamwork and pride is what makes a career in manufacturing so rewarding.
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