Three paths to success at Associated Materials

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Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.


Army Intelligence Analyst to Centralized Project Administrator

Tim Betsinger didn't know what he wanted to do after high school. He knew he wanted to travel but wasn't sure what kind of job he was looking for. The Army provided that needed direction. He spent five years working as an intelligence analyst before it was time for a change. Betsinger studied finance and business management and wanted to put his degree to work; his wife had recently relocated to Ohio and he needed to find a job in that area as well. "I kept an open mind and applied to many jobs in many industries," he said. "I was more concerned with finding a job that suited my skills than in any particular industry."

Betsinger applied to Associated Materials' Management Training Program, but the timing did not work out. However, the company was interested in him as an employee; they floated his resume around the company in order to find a fit. "The company was so easy to work with," he said. "I was out of state and was able to complete all interviews over the phone." After a month and a half, Betsinger was offered a position as centralized project administrator. "My job is to handle all aspects of project management so that our dealers can focus on sales," he explained.

Betsinger was able to put his finance and business management degree to work in the manufacturing industry. He recommends veteran job seekers stay flexible and open-minded; don't discount an industry because you have never worked in it before. "Many industries are similar to the military," he said. "Associated Materials emphasizes communication, responsibility, and a clear mission, just like the Army." Betsinger has found a comfortable culture in a company that fosters a positive work/life balance and puts employees in a position to succeed.

Marine Corps Radio Operator to Line Lead

Elizabeth Dennis loved her time in the Marine Corps. She wanted to serve her country, travel, and meet new people, and she did plenty of that during her eight-year career as a radio operator. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Dennis returned home to Ohio and learned about Associated Materials from a friend. "My transition out of the military was pretty seamless," she said. "I applied with Associated Materials, did a walk-through, and got hired."

Dennis began her career with Associated Materials "at the bottom," working as a saw operator on the most high-tech saw available. She worked her way up through the glass department to quality control, then to working as a line lead for four years. Dennis was eventually promoted to supervisor, but found that she preferred working as a line lead. She returned to her position as line lead of the wrapper, where she remains over seven years after beginning her journey with Associated Materials. "I am in charge of wrapping every window that is made on our line and making sure it is ready to send out to our customers," she explained.

Dennis oversees 14 employees on her line and has found that her employees are like family. "I really enjoy the personal connection I have with my employees," she said. "We are a very tight-knit department." While the job can be stressful at times, Dennis knows that her department is in it together. Camaraderie, teamwork, and hard work are a focus of the job, one that she likens to her time in the Marine Corps. "I enjoy challenging myself to do more," Dennis said. "I like to challenge my employees to do the same."

Army Police Officer to Production Supervisor

Tanika Carroll always wanted to be a police officer. She spent a year studying criminal justice at Kent State University before heeding the call to join the Army. "I knew the path to becoming a police officer was faster in the Army," she said. "I could still do the job I wanted but be fast-tracked a bit."

At 19, Carroll found herself serving as a military police officer in Afghanistan, which was a huge responsibility for a young adult. She spent six years in service to her country before deciding it was time to move on. "I left the military and resumed studying for my criminal justice degree," she said. While taking night classes, she needed a day job to make ends meet. A friend who was working at Associated Materials thought it might be a good fit. "I needed a job that worked with my school schedule," Carroll said. "A job with Associated Materials provided the structure and routine that allowed me to continue going to school."

She began working general labor as an hourly employee. Carroll quickly moved up to quality control and then line lead. Within two years she had been promoted to general supervisor of production, the position she maintains today. While she did not initially intend to settle in for the long haul, Carroll quickly felt at home at Associated Materials. "It's ironic that I ended up working in manufacturing," she said. "I had every intention of working as a police officer, but this job just felt right."

"Everything we do at Associated Materials is structured and standardized," she added. "In that way, it is very similar to working in the military." Carroll liked that her job was clearly defined and that the company valued hard work and discipline. "This company gives employees the opportunity to be the best that they can be," she said. "If you work hard, you will not be overlooked."

As a supervisor, Carroll relishes the opportunity to help people grow and reach their dreams. "I get to help create people," she said. "That is truly powerful." Through those connections, Carroll has not only shared her experiences with others but has grown as a leader and as an employee. "I am planning to stay with Associated Materials for a long time," she said. "I want to grow and move on to be a manager and some day a plant manager."

There are many paths to success after the military. For these three veterans, they found a road that leads directly to Associated Materials. With a tight-knit community of employees and abundant opportunities to advance through the company, Associated Materials is a great fit for veterans looking to grow in the civilian world.

This post is sponsored by Associated Materials.

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Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo(

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Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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