October is Manufacturing Month, and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporationis celebrating by featuring women in manufacturing across the region.
From assembly workers to HR Managers and many in between, Corridor staff asked some of the area’s female manufacturing stars to share their experience in manufacturing. Their stories are being shared on the Corridor’s website, social media and newsletter through the end of the month.
When asked what brought her to manufacturing, Danielle Massukado (pictured below), FSQA Manager at Tyson in Storm Lake credits a mentor early in her career who challenged her to make the world a better place using the skills gained in her time at Veterinary School.
“At that moment, I decided to improve Food Safety and Quality of Animal protein offered to the world,” says Massukado. “Since then, my career path is moving toward this choice.”
The other women have been in manufacturing since early in their professional careers, even if that is not what they originally imagined.
Nikki Schnell, Engineering Clerical Assistant at Demco Products in Spencer, has held many different positions throughout her 20 years with the company. She started at Demco while a college student studying accounting.
“My first position was in purchasing doing data entry,” said Schnell. “I helped set up the computer system/program we were transitioning to. I eventually ended up in the engineering department and found that I really enjoyed keeping the system information updated.”
Tyson Foods Environmental Manager Kimberlie Bumgardner (pictured below) is excited by the job diversity within the manufacturing field. “There are many opportunities for promotion, especially if you are willing to apply yourself and learn new things,” said Bumgardner, who works in Storm Lake. “Many manufacturers invest in their employees by providing training and higher education as they want to encourage hard-working, highly-motivated employees to stay with the company and become leaders in the industry.”
“The vast array of positions within a plant means that a variety of skill sets are needed,” says Jordan Doll, a buyer at Safco Products in Milford. “Every role in the plant is valued. No matter your position, your ideas have the ability to bring about change.”
Whatever their role in a plant, one point shines through for these women: pride in their work and pride in their products.
“It’s exciting to see a product take shape from the beginning to the end,” shares Carrie Engelkes, Engineering/Clerical Assistant at Demco. “It’s satisfying to see a finished product in action and be able to say, ‘We made that.’”
Asked about the best part of her career, Jody Hobmeier, an assembler at GKN-Armstrong Wheels in Estherville, said, “I take pride in building a quality part and keeping safe. I enjoy building parts and finishing a product to contribute to the earthmover and agriculture industry.”
Margaret Schiernbeck works in production scheduling and inventory control at Demco. Her message is similar. “I wish more people realized that working in manufacturing can be anything but boring. There is a sense of pride throughout a manufacturing setting. That pride starts from the receiving department, through all facets of production, and carries through the shipping departments.”
Whether these women are in the offices or on the production line, they each have a message for those looking at a career in manufacturing.
“GO. FOR. IT!!!! There are so many paths you can take towards success in this field of work,” shares Genesis Miranda (pictured above), Human Resources Coordinator at Tyson in Storm Lake. “Although you may have to put in some work and ‘roll up your sleeves’ this is a great place to advance in a multitude of careers!”
To learn more about these women in manufacturing and others, visit www.lakescorridor.com.