IndustryWeek celebrates Manufacturing Day, and Manufacturing Month, by celebrating the industry’s workers, from the C-Suite to the shop floor.
Name: Vicki Davis
City/State of Residence: Norman, Oklahoma
Job Title: Ducted Systems Plant Manager, Norman Plant Commercial Operations
Company: Johnson Controls
Years with Company: 28
Industry of Your Company: HVAC
Training / Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from University of Phoenix
What made you decide to pursue a career in manufacturing?
I’m a second-generation employee at the Johnson Controls Norman, Oklahoma plant. I’ve been around the industry all my life and feel they are part of my family. When I decided to follow the path of my mother, who has worked at the plant for 47 years, I knew I wanted to advance beyond the plant floor, so I took advantage of the tuition reimbursement and mentoring programs Johnson Controls provides its employees.
What does your job entail?
I’m responsible for all production activities for the plant as well as the manufacturing, engineering and quality materials organizations. There are approximately 800 employees in the plant, and it is my job to understand what our capacity is and how we can spread it across various production lines in order to meet our customers' needs. I also oversee the facility’s maintenance contract, which includes an additional 350 employees.
What is the most interesting part of your job? Your proudest moment?
We also have a great deal of diversity throughout the plant. As a manager, it’s important to understand how various cultures view things differently and how best to engage and interact with them to help them succeed. My proudest moment was when the Norman plant was selected to undergo a large expansion and become the Johnson Controls Rooftop Center of Excellence. They selected us because of the performance, people and commitment that comes from this facility.
What do you love about manufacturing?
I’m kind of a manufacturing geek, since I like to know how things work and am always looking for ways to improve our processes. Being in the HVAC business gives me a great sense of accomplishment, since we’re working hard every day to build equipment that makes people’s lives better and that we know is going to last.
What advice would you give to kids considering a job in manufacturing?
When I talk to young people, I say the only thing limiting them and their ability to grow is themselves. If they come in with an open mind and are willing to learn and expand their education, they can take their career as far as they want. This is especially true at Johnson Controls where there are so many opportunities for growth.