Position: Process Technician

Date of Hire: 9/13/2010

Other Positions Held / Length of Each: Assembly Assistant: 4 months; Production Assistant: 1 year; Die Setter: 4 years; Lead Captain: 1 year

Favorite Story / Memory during Time Working at Team 1: Derrick said that his favorite story “… has to be the story that I have with Shelley [Lewis].” Then, he explained, “One day, shortly after I first hired in as a Production Assistant, I was talking to Shelley. I asked her how long she’d been at Team 1. She replied, ‘Next month, I’ll have been working here 20 years.’ ‘Man!’ I replied, ‘That’s a crazy long time! I don’t think I could work at this place for 20 years. That’s forever!’ She replied, ‘You just wait – it’ll creep up on you and the next thing you know, it’ll have been 20 years.’”

Derrick said that Shelley often reminds him of their conversation. “After I had been at Team 1 about three years, Shelley said, ‘Hey, I see you’re still here! You’ve got another year under your belt!’ And just a couple of months ago, she said, ‘It’s been about 7 years now, hasn’t it? You’re going to be a lifer here with me!’”

How has Team 1 helped your Personal and/or Professional Development? Derrick said that at Team 1 Plastics, he has found a position [Process Technician] which fits wells with his problem-solving skills and interests in math and science. “I’m in a position that works with things that I like to do.” This position has also generated an interest in furthering his education to obtain an engineering degree. And, education is not something that Derrick has enjoyed in the past. “I hated high school. I hated that when studying general education, you’re learning stuff that’s not going to be relevant to you.” However, being a Process Technician has helped him identify that he would like to pursue Engineering, and he has been investigating the different options of schools and degrees.

Derrick also said that being at Team 1 has “taught me a lot of patience. Working on stuff has taught me patience. For example, one day, I literally had to sit there and watch the machine run for an hour and seven minutes.”

Favorite Aspect of Working at Team 1: “I like all the people. They are good, friendly people. Everyone knows you, and they are usually trying to help others.” Derrick remembered when Team Members with more experience than his “took time to sit and explain everything to me, being patient with me so that I could learn it. They would tell me things over and over until I got it into my head.” Another “big thing,” Derrick said, is that “the owners care about each individual person.”

What do you want to share about your life outside of Team 1? Derrick admitted to being “a huge video game nerd.” He said that he has taken different networking and computer classes and has built computers. He also said that he has just begun playing golf. “That’s been fun for me. It takes a lot of practice. You definitely have to be committed if you want to get decent.”

Piece of Advice and/or Encouragement for Future Team 1 Team Members: “If you have a little bit of patience, there’s always room for advancement. There are always positions open. And, there’s training to help you progress and move up.” Derrick is puzzled when he sees people stuck at an entry-level job for years and years. He wonders, why wouldn’t you want to move up? Derrick thinks that maybe they are fixated on one specific job, but he advises that you be flexible and willing to move around. “If you do one job, and you do that well, and you move to another and you keep moving up, I feel like you have a better track record and well-rounded knowledge of the place so you know how the whole business works.”

Random Question: Which is better: Football or Baseball? Why? “I like football better.” Derrick said that he played football in both middle school and high school. And he said that football is more entertaining to watch than baseball. “There’s a lot more action. It’s more eventful.”

Contact Info

927 Elliott Road
Albion, Michigan 49224-9506

Phone: (517) 629-2178