Building a Future in Manufacturing

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It’s not your imagination. U.S. manufacturing is experiencing a resurgence, with the reshoring of some operations as well as the expansion of many others. This is good for the country, not only because of supply-chain or logistical issues, but because manufacturing provides meaningful, well-paying jobs for people of all educational backgrounds and skill levels.

No other industry can support such a diverse group of people, especially in more rural areas. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the average compensation in U.S. manufacturing is 8.8 % higher than that for total private industry.

We are seeing this growth at S&C. Earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our own U.S. manufacturing footprint with a 275,000-square-foot facility in Palatine, Illinois, 25 miles from our Chicago headquarters and manufacturing campus in Rogers Park. This growth is great, but we need people. We have a number of job openings for manufacturing team members at all career levels at this location and at our other sites.

Typically, we work with local high schools, trade schools, community colleges, and other colleges to recruit new team members for S&C. There are so many different career paths and opportunities available in manufacturing, and I don’t think people realize it. Let me share my own manufacturing career journey.

I started as an assembler at S&C, working on OmniRupter® Switches during the summer between high school and college. While getting my engineering degree, I was a co-op student and worked in Facilities Engineering. My career goal early on was to grow in the Engineering group and eventually manage projects of increasing scope and complexity. I didn’t initially have a desire to get into leadership.

Working in Facilities Engineering changed that. That assignment gave me the opportunity to meet and work with team members throughout the organization. They were my customers. This early career experience taught me how to work with people, manage expectations, and deliver results. This helped to prepare me for different management roles in Operations, including several international assignments, and in my present role as chief operating officer.

I tell this story to illustrate there are so many opportunities in manufacturing for people who are like me, willing to work hard and learn, regardless of education level or previous experience. Plus, manufacturing extends well beyond engineering and assembler roles. You can work in manufacturing and have a career in finance, health services, security, and marketing, to name just a few.

A career in manufacturing offers much more than a paycheck. At S&C, there are many opportunities to learn, grow, and advance while making a real difference for future generations. In total, I’ve been at S&C for 19 years and have enjoyed each and every day here.

Most importantly, when you work in manufacturing, you know the work you do is truly making a difference. Here at S&C, we are working to build a better power grid. This means even as electricity demand surges and the weather worsens, S&C team members are working to keep the power on with products that make the world’s grids more reliable and resilient.

But we can’t do it without people, and we are looking for good people like you to join our team.

When asked what I like most about manufacturing, I always answer, “The people.” I really enjoy being around and learning from our diverse group of team members, and I enjoy building “stuff.” This makes manufacturing the perfect fit for me; you can build “stuff” and you can build your career.

If you’re looking for a career, I encourage you to participate in local Manufacturing Month activities and explore how you can start a rewarding career in manufacturing. Then, visit our careers site to learn more about S&C.

We are consistently named a “Top Workplace” both regionally and nationally and as a “Top Manufacturer” nationally. We offer competitive pay and benefits and in-house training programs to help our team members upskill for their jobs. Presently, we have job openings in Assembly, Fabrication, Maintenance, Manufacturing Technology, Cybersecurity, Engineering, and Quality Assurance.

At S&C, we’re building the future. We need you to join us!


Jim Johnson Jr

Publication Date

October 4, 2023