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Gen Z in Manufacturing: Employers Should Put Emphasis on 'We Will Train You'

Before he started, Tomas Guillen felt pressured to be an expert for his first job.

Editor's Note: Download the audio version below.

Welcome to another episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing, a podcast series in which I interview young workers about their jobs in the manufacturing industry and what they look for from an employer.

For this installment, I welcome Tomas Guillen, a 25-year-old controls engineer at Patti Engineering, a company that integrates automation, robotic and digitalization technologies in industrial facilities.

Guillen began his time at Patti as an intern and became a full-time employee in June 2022. After more than three years with Patti, his duties have grown to handling his own projects, where he is choosing the hardware, drafting the electrical design and making necessary PLC changes for an electrical panel that will be interacting with new equipment on a factory floor.

Guillen, a Texas A&M University graduate, is among a new generation of Aggie alumni in their mid to upper 20s recently hired by Patti. Guillen admitted he initially had no knowledge of controls engineering as a career and thought he needed extensive expertise for his first job. However, Patti's emphasis was on adaptability and problem-solving. As a result, Guillen advises manufacturing employers to assure young workers that, while knowledge is valuable, they prioritize their ability to handle challenges.

In this episode, Guillen discusses:

  • His journey to becoming a controls engineer. (1:00)
  • What drew him to Patti Engineering and what made him want to stay. (2:49)
  • The projects and responsibilities that come with his job. (4:18)
  • The age range of workers at Patti Engineering. (5:51)
  • How Patti Engineering has been able to attract Gen Z talent. (6:31)
  • Handling his own project. (7:09)
  • Challenges that come with handling a project. (8:16)
  • What kind of mentorship and guidance he has received. (8:55)
  • Developing administrative skills. (10:01)
  • Tension between generations. (10:59)
  • How manufacturers can attract and retain Gen Z workers. (11:57)
  • How employers can bridge the generational gap. (13:06)
  • How Gen Z can contribute to manufacturing and controls engineering. (14:26)

Gen Z in Manufacturing Episodes

Please make sure to like and share this episode of Gen Z in Manufacturing. If you are a member of Gen Z and would like to discuss your experience in the manufacturing industry, please contact Nolan Beilstein at [email protected].

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