In 2007, I lost my technician job with an engineering firm due to the poor economy. My brother, a Maintenance Technician at the Publix bakery plant in Lakeland, suggested that I apply for a maintenance technician opening. I had some formal engineering and electrical training in college, and I also had experience working for a contractor in the phosphate industry. I applied and the plant engineer gave me a chance and hired me.
I had never seen most of the equipment I was working on. I learned as much as I could, both on the job and on my own at home, and this helped me quickly become a valuable technician to the maintenance team. I also pressed forward and finished my Associate's degree while working night shift. About three years after joining Publix, I moved to the dairy plant when the Assistant Department Manager position became available in maintenance.
This was a whole new ball game for me because I had never managed people before. Publix provided training, and I received advice along the way from my peers to help me become a good manager. Also, working in the dairy industry was a lot different from where I came from so it took a lot of effort to learn. I was in this position for nearly six years, learning new things every day. Exposure to the wide variety of equipment was invaluable to my experience. During my sixth year, the incumbent Plant Engineer retired, and I was awarded the Plant Engineer position in 2016. I look forward to the opportunity to grow and advance in my current and future positions. Publix provides great opportunities for anyone who is willing to put in the effort.