GE Appliances
A Third Grade Plant Tour Turns into Dream Engineer Job at GE Appliances

A Third Grade Plant Tour Turns into Dream Engineer Job at GE Appliances

July 7, 2021
Jordan Julius' visit to GE Appliances eventually led to a job designing the manufacturing process and assembly line for the new Zoneline vertical terminal air conditioner line being put in at Monogram Refrigeration in Selmer, Tenn.

While most kids want to grow up to the proverbial firefighter, Jordan Julius dreamed about becoming an engineer who designed equipment. Why? Well in third grade she visited the assembly line at Appliance Park,  Louisville, Kentucky, where GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, has its headquarters. She liked what she saw. 

Her dream became reality in 2019 when at age 26 when she was hired by GEA to design the manufacturing process and assembly line for the new Zoneline vertical terminal air conditioner (VTAC) line being put in at Monogram Refrigeration in Selmer, Tennessee. VTACs are commonly used in hotels and private residential facilities. The new product line was formerly produced in Mexico, and the decision was made to reshore production closer to U.S. customers.  The move, which shortened lead times, also added WiFi-connected and diagnostic capabilities.

To prepare for this job, in addition to a degree from the University of North Texas, Julius also had two co-op experiences at GE Appliances while in college in field quality and service parts sourcing.

 “I always knew I wanted to work on new product development,” said Julius. “When I saw the opening for the advanced manufacturing (AME) team and then got the job to be the lead for the new VTAC launch, it was huge for me . . . a real honor. I really didn’t expect something like this until I was in my thirties and had more experience,” Julius said in a statement for a company publication.

The new assembly line, which will create the fifth assembly line at the plant, began in mid-June with approximately 30 new employees building the VTAC products.

The job provided Julius with a few challenges given the pandemic slowed equipment delivery as well as travel. New processes had to be developed. “I had to think outside the box more so much more than I ever thought I could, but with the help of the Monogram team, we did it,” said Julius.

Julius also gained an important operations perspective when she had to pitch in due to pandemic-related shortages. “During the pandemic, I was able to work the assembly line when we needed additional labor,” said Julius. “The experience helped me see from an operator’s perspective how the parts went together and how to make improvements that I might not have seen otherwise.”

Julius’ high-profile role represents an opportunity for GEA to bring in more women engineers. “Traditionally the AME field has been predominately male, but we need a more diverse perspective as we create GE Appliances’ smart factories of the future,” said Spence Ledford, Senior Manager, Advanced Manufacturing for GE Appliances, in a statement for a company publication. “If you look at the same problem the same way every time, you miss half of the potential solutions. Having a diverse workforce is a win for the business.”

And this big win for Julius is spurring her to pay it forward. “I’ve reached one of my dreams, and now I want to give back and support others the way they’ve supported me.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!