Throughout our Manufacturing Spotlight series, we’ve spoken to a number of manufacturing professionals in an attempt to hear their stories and learn more about what it’s really like to work in the industry. Many of the professionals we’ve featured have been CNC Machine Operators, all of whom had a unique and powerful perspective on the industry and how to thrive in it. Today, our Manufacturing Spotlight installment will take a slightly different tone.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Wayne Pitts, a production manager and seasoned manufacturing professional at Innovent Technologies. While we’ve typically spoken with graduates of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program who are making their way into the industry, Wayne has already been through it all, and as a result, he has some poignant and powerful perspectives.

Wayne’s Journey Through the Manufacturing Industry

Today, Wayne is the production manager at Innovent Technologies, a contract manufacturing company which produces capital equipment for medical companies, components for the $400 billion semiconductor industry, and more. This is a highly respected position in a well-established manufacturing company, but Wayne stays mostly modest about what he does.

“We have both assemblies and machine shops,” Wayne told us, “It’s really my job to support all the different managers for whatever needs to get done. You could describe it as a support position for management.”

While Wayne is currently tasked and trusted with essential responsibilities, his success didn’t occur overnight. After graduating high school in 1976, Wayne enrolled in a manufacturing training program that helped him learn the basics of the industry at the time.

“When I started in manufacturing, you had manual lays, now it’s CNC equipment. When I got my first job as an operator we were still using pins. Safe to say technology has changed the process quite a bit.”

After gaining the basics of the industry from High School and training programs, Wayne knew the industry was for him. Product development is what he has always enjoyed doing most in the field, so it’s safe to say he has landed in the perfect role in the later stages of his career.

In current day, Wayne is also tasked with interviewing and hiring potential employees, many of which are graduates of the AMTEP courses. As a result of both his career and his experience working with the younger generation, Wayne understands the value of training courses like AMTEP.

Wayne’s Thoughts on AMTEP & Advice to Graduates

When certain people talk, they naturally command a high level of respect. Wayne is one of those people. This means that readers of this article and young people who want to have a successful career in manufacturing would do well to heed the advice that Wayne passed along to us in our conversation. One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation with Wayne is that young people entering the industry are much better off when they have a strong basis of knowledge to work from, and AMTEP courses can provide that.

“You need to know the basics when you step into the facility. With the right training, it can be a very easy transition from the equipment you’ll be training on to the real equipment you use on the job. That’s tremendously valuable.”

Not only does Wayne understand what it takes to succeed, he’s also directly involved with the hiring and training of these new employees. His advice to interviewees and new employees was direct.

“When I’m hiring, I’m looking for versatility. The job is constantly changing, so you need to be able to manage that,” Wayne continued, “these are also jobs you need to enjoy. You need to like this kind of unique work where you’re offering value to a company.”

Wayne’s career has spanned multiple decades, and he’s seen the manufacturing industry go through its fair share of revolutions. For that reason, young manufacturing professionals should take an extra moment or two and contemplate his advice. The bulk of that advice comes down to this; be as prepared as possible before you step into the factory. Then, work your butt off.

Visit the AMTEP webpage to learn more about how you can enroll in the program and start your manufacturing career