Over the last few months, our Manufacturing Spotlight series has highlighted professionals working in various roles throughout the manufacturing industry, and given readers a closer look at what careers in manufacturing really look like. The purpose of these conversations and articles is to give individuals who may be considering a career in manufacturing a realistic, no nonsense look at life in the industry.

For our latest installment, we spoke to Doug Fogg, the Vice President of Operations at Straumann USA. If that company name sounds familiar, it’s probably because our previous installment featured Isaac, a CNC Machine Operator and AMTEP graduate, working at the same company.

In addition to his unique rise to success in the industry, Doug also has experience hiring and working directly with graduates of the AMTEP courses. If you’re interested in having a long, successful career in the manufacturing industry, you’ll want to read this article.

Doug’s Career in Manufacturing

Manufacturing careers come in many different forms, and people take a variety of different paths to achieve success in the field. Today, Doug is the VP of Operations at Straumann, a company that is a global leader in the development of dental implant products and related dental tools, and headquartered in Andover, MA. But Doug can still remember where his manufacturing journey began.

“I went to Northeastern (college) for engineering,” Doug told us, “I liked mechanisms, machines and motors…I think I’ve always enjoyed making a finished product out of a hunk of metal.”

Doug’s insight into why he entered manufacturing touches on the fundamental processes of what manufacturing employees do. Every member of a manufacturing team, whether it’s CNC machine operators, VPs of operations, assemblers and fabricators or so on, all serve a pivotal purpose in the creation of parts and products for industries that need them. For Doug, his current responsibilities revolve around overseeing production and management.

“Under me is the head of machining, the director of quality, and a number of other departments,” Doug explained, “But my primary task is machining processes including laser engraving, and surface processing.”

While Doug thrives within the technical aspects of manufacturing, he’s also a part of the team that interviews and makes decisions on hiring potential employees. And he has some advice for those trying to start careers in manufacturing.

Doug’s Experience with AMTEP Graduates & Advice for New Hires

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program, or AMTEP, focuses on providing manufacturing training, at no cost, to unemployed, underemployed and inexperienced career seekers in order to help those people move into fulfilling manufacturing careers. Doug has personally been a part of hiring and training AMTEP graduates on the plant processes of Straumann, and he’s been encouraged by the progress he’s seen the program make.

“The basic skills and training in the program are very good,” Doug said, “The students came in working hard from day one.”

AMTEP equips students with job readiness skills, but every company has their own styles and ways to do things. Something that stood out to Doug was how quickly AMTEP graduates picked up new concepts, which can almost certainly be attributed to their 300 hours of training offered by AMTEP.

“We were impressed with the young people who came out of the program. Even when the students and adults didn’t have all the skills right away, they were still hungry to learn.”

Part of the reason Doug believes AMTEP students are so motivated and willing to learn is because they’ve made the conscious choice to pursue a career in manufacturing, and they come out of the program with a passion to learn.

When we asked Doug what his advice is for young people just beginning their manufacturing careers, his response was poignant and direct.

“Get your skills and apply yourself,” He said, “When I’m interviewing, I’m looking for someone with passion and caring. Why do you want to do this? Why Manufacturing? I want people who are dedicated.”

One theme that emerged in our conversation with Doug, and with every other manufacturing professional we’ve spoken with, is that work ethic and a willingness to learn will go a long way toward having a successful career in the industry. If you’re ready to take control of your career, sign up for AMTEP courses.

The training courses will provide the tools, and most likely even get you placed directly into a role. But what you do with those opportunities is up to you.