"I started working for Bridgestone Americas in September 2011. I was greeted with open arms by the staff of the plant. They are a tight-knit work force that is supportive and productive, and this made for a good experience for me this first year.
During my career in the Navy as a Nuclear Technician, I was called upon to work on and supervise work on all aspects of moving machinery. The experience and basic knowledge I gained during this work directly prepared me to troubleshoot and maintain the processes involved in tire curing. More importantly, however, was the teamwork and work ethic I gained as a member of the military.
Working on industrial machinery has been a great learning experience for me from day one. Even with my advanced knowledge of engineering and 24 years of experience performing multi-craft maintenance, I found that there was a lot to learn about the specifics of machines that cure tires. The maintenance persons with whom I work have been a great help and have always expressed a great interest in insuring my proper training on these machines. I have received training both in a formal classroom setting and on the job with other technicians. This well rounded training environment has led to a firm foundation in the process of tire curing and how this process is carried out by the various machine designs.
Most veterans I know value a place to work in which the pressure to perform comes from within. Bridgestone is such a place. There is no mindless supervisory element waiting to hit you over the head for your every mistake or demand an accounting of your off duty hours. What is offered is good compensation for an honest day's work. In my opinion, it is the ideal place for veterans." - George Snyder, Engineering Maintenance Technician, Bridgestone Firestone
"I was active duty enlisted from 2008 to 2012, where I served as an Electrician's Mate aboard an aircraft carrier. The Service gave me the knowledge and experience to pass the entrance tests, the strength and endurance to keep up with the job on a daily basis; as well as the flexibility, fortitude, and commitment needed to do a good job and be a good addition to the Bridgestone team.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges Bridgestone has offered thus far. So far, I have taken about eight weeks of classes, ranging from PLC's to Mechanical Lifts. In three weeks, I'll be going to Japan for two weeks to learn about installations in our new plant. Also, there is already overtime scheduled at the end of the year through next year, and the eventual rotating schedule contains overtime as well.
Aside from the ability to always be home for dinner and not be out to sea for a deployment away from my family, another benefit to working for Bridgestone is that fact that the pay really represents the amount of work being done. As the plant production improves, so does my slice of the pie. I truly have an impact on my pay.
There is a Bridgestone Scholarship program where you can go to college paid for by Bridgestone (not your GI Bill), as well as hold a part time position in a Service or Machinery Technician Job. Also, the corporate ladder doesn't just stop at Service Technician or Crew Leader. Kind of like the Seaman to Admirals program in the Navy, there is a way you can climb the corporate ladder at Bridgestone, as well, from Machinery Technician to CEO of Bridgestone America. Bridgestone provides many opportunities.
Currently half of the people I work with are prior military. We are able to get along immediately, because we have a bond. We know the hardships we have faced before, and we are quick to help and cover one another when the job requires flexibility. I would not only recommend Bridgestone as a place for fellow veterans to work, but I embrace the notion." - Benjamin Alexander, Service Technician, Bridgestone Firestone
"I was an Electrician Mate in the Navy and served onboard the USS Bataan from June 2008 to January 2012. My transition to Bridgestone from the Navy was such a smooth transition, thanks to the folks at Orion international. Orion made the whole process so easy, as they guided me from the beginning until the day that I was hired. I took the Engineering test with Bridgestone around the second week of November, passed the test, and did my interview the same day. About two hours later, I received a call from Orion representative that I was hired! Everything happened in one day. I started with Bridgestone after my contract with the Navy ended in January.
My time with Bridgestone has been fun and challenging, yet rewarding. I have learned so much within a span of about eight months of being with the company, and it keeps getting better. My career enables me to have hands-on experience with high tech and robotic equipment in the industrial environment. I also learn about the programs and software that makes the equipment 'robotic' in nature. Another rewarding opportunity is for me is to be able to go to school full-time while working full-time, as well.
My transition from military to civilian life was great because of working with Bridgestone. They understand your initial background in the military, and they are willing to help you adjust to a smoother transition while enjoying good company benefits. Bridgestone is the ideal place for transitioning engineers, as it will give them a head start into the future of Mechatronics engineering.
My advice to veterans is to NOT see yourself working in a shipyard just to earn a paycheck. Picture yourself working for a good company with great benefits and remain motivated, as there is a big difference between the military and the civilian sector. Prepare yourself for your future by studying hard, and, if you will be working with Orion during your transition, ask any question you may have, as they are ready to support you all the way! Good luck my fellow Engineers!" - Bosun Dare, Engineering Maintenance Technician, Bridgestone Firestone