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Three paths to success at Associated Materials
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.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.