With October's Manufacturing Month nearing its close, IndustryWeek invited people who participated in a recent survey about why they chose careers in manufacturing to share their stories.
Larry Gates, a process engineering manager for Fortune Brands' Fiberon division, talked about moving from design to the shop floor where he felt he could be more creative. Salvador Martinez joined us from Costa Rica where he's been a process engineer for 40 years, most recently as a freelance consultant.
Both had participated in a single-question survey that simply asked why people chose careers in this industry. While many people talked about the desire to work with their hands or family connections to the manufacturing world, other responses focused on the ability to find creative solutions to problems. One of the most frequent answers was the sense of job satisfaction that manufacturers gain from seeing a finished product and knowing that they contributed to making it -- something that's a little less obvious in many fields.