SPECIAL REPORT: What it takes to land a manufacturing job
BUFFALO, WV (WCHS/WVAH) —
When it comes to jobs, companies are always looking for the right match before hiring someone, especially when it comes to manufacturing positions.
Working in manufacturing, isn't an easy job. It requires a lot of hard work.
"They need to be skilled, well-rounded, multi-skilled in different areas not just specialize in one area,” said Jacob Hill who is an employee at Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Buffalo.
Hill knows what it takes. He started working at Toyota after completing the Advanced Manufacturing Technology program at BridgeValley Community and Technical College. It is a program where students can work and go to school.
“You got to be responsible and self-driven, self-motivated," Hill said.
Bridget Judy used to be a teacher. She decided to take a whole different path in life and went into manufacturing. "A lot of different reasons, mainly teachers are undervalued and underpaid and this gave me the opportunity to make more money and do something different every day," Judy said.
Judy is in the AMT program at BridgeValley and is getting hands on experience at Toyota.
“It worked out for my family... that way I can still work and earn and then go to school and learn something new and have a degree in the end," Judy said.
AMT Student at BridgeValley, Gary Combs, took a chance too after moving with his wife from Cincinnati. He says this was the best option.
“I enjoy all the hands on stuff, getting dirty, getting out there and learning everything that’s to offer,” Combs said.
Working part time at Toyota shows students the knowledge and training needed to succeed in manufacturing jobs.
“It takes a lot of hard work, you've got to be willing to learn every day, you have to be on time you have to come in and just have a good attitude," Combs said.
With technology always advancing, there’s a specific type of person Toyota looks for in a future employee.
Dennis Dunbar is a skilled team leader in the maintenance department at the Toyota plant. He said, "one of the most important things we look for is the ability to learn because things change rapidly. The technology changes, what we do today is different from what we did last year and we need team members that can learn."
A few months ago, the company celebrated 20 years in business and recently announced a $400 million investment to its facility over the next four years which means, more employees could be needed.
“We’ve found that we've had more success developing people that love West Virginia and West Virginia is their home and be able to bring those people in and bring them to the point that they can be our new skilled workforce," Dunbar said.
“It’s a great opportunity to work in my home state where i was born and raised and make great money," Hill said.
This opportunity is one Judy and many others hope to land in the future.
“My hopes are to work here, I hope to stay at Toyota,” Judy said with a smile.
Employment at Toyota is not guaranteed after completing the AMT BridgeValley program. If there is an opportunity available, a student could end up getting hired.