Manufacturing Month comes to an end, Jessie Beach has some advice on how to get
more people interested in a career that involves making things.
“It is extremely important to communicate the
need and variety of manufacturing and trades,” said Beach, team
leader/nondestructive testing at Olsson, an engineering and design firm. “As
early as junior high, people need to be made aware of existing and upcoming
skill/trade opportunities. This will allow them to evaluate their passions and
give them the opportunity to build on a future involving something they enjoy
instead of just finding a job if the traditional four-year college route isn’t
Beach, who is
originally from Raymond, is a 2014 graduate of Southeast Community College’s
Nondestructive Testing Technology program. He heard about the program while at
Raymond Central High School.
“I knew a couple
of folks in the (NDT) industry when I was looking at making a (career) change,”
said Beach, who worked in manufacturing for eight years while completing a
degree in Business Administration at SCC’s Lincoln Campus. “After doing some
research on the (NDT) industry as a whole, speaking with the instructors, and
then touring the Milford Campus, I decided it was the right path for me.”
Beach pursued NDT
because he wanted a career in a higher-demand industry and a higher salary, all
the while still being able to work with his hands.
He’s worked at
Olsson since graduating from SCC, first as an assistant technician, now as the
NDT team leader for the Lincoln and Omaha field offices.
“As a team
leader, I’m responsible for the overall performance, leadership and management
of our team,” Beach said. “I help team members with their development both
technically and professionally, as well as manage projects and clients for
“I still hold my
CWI (Certified Welding Inspector) and NDT certifications because when the
schedule requires it, I’ll get in the field and help fill gaps.”
Beach said Olsson,
like many companies, has experienced its share of challenges in recruiting
30-plus offices, we have needs that cross each service that Olsson provides,
including planning and design, engineering, field services, environmental, and
technology,” he said.
current high school students to attend college fairs and visit manufacturing
companies to get a better idea of what a career in that field might be like.
colleges need to promote technical careers to audiences younger than high
school,” he said. “Because by the time they get to that step, they’ve either
got an idea of the path they want to go down or feel like their path is set for
them. Peaking their interest early on by way of STEM programs, or even telling
the story of how technology is integrating into trades, may help bring more
folks into industry sooner.”
Beach praised the
education and training he received from SCC’s NDT program.
“The program gave
a very in-depth technical understanding of what is used in the industry,” he
said. “It lays the groundwork to be able to specialize in an inspection method
and saves employers a lot of time and money because they know the product that
SCC’s NDT program puts out. There’s a clear difference between SCC grads and
those from other schools or those that came up through the industry.
instructors) Bill Wiley and Randy Walbridge pushed us as students to understand
the basic concepts, but to also be able to dig in and find solutions when we
encountered problems. They had very high standards, and because of that the SCC
graduates are highly regarded in industry.”
Beach and his
wife Alli live in Elmwood with their three daughters.