Featuring McKee Foods and Nathan Missine
What is your name?
What is your position at McKee Foods?
How long have you been in this role?
Three and a half years.
Did you start in this role at McKee Foods, or did you do a different job within the company prior to this?
I started out as an intern in the Corporate Shops Department at McKee Foods while finishing college, then transferred to the Electrical Department full time after I graduated.
How would you describe your career to someone unfamiliar with it?
In this role, you are responsible for the construction and installation of electrical components within the entire McKee Foods’ infrastructure, which means the actual buildings, production lines, equipment, machines, etc. As a construction electrician, you will interface and work directly with a wide variety of technology, including building and wiring new electrical panels, control systems, new production technology and other systems that keep the building powered and the bakery operating with baked goods coming down the lines.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different. It starts out with a team morning meeting led by the foreman and supervisor where we are assigned our task and discuss the current project we’re working on. Here, needs are assessed such as resources, manpower and timeline and it’s our opportunity to ask any questions. Usually, we work in tight-knit groups or with a partner.
Projects vary greatly, including, laying out, sizing and installing power distribution systems, conduit runs, wiring, and transformers and calculating breaker/fuse/overload protection according to the National Electrical Code (NEC). We perform preventive maintenance on all electrical distribution systems as well as restore electrical power during unexpected disruptions. This provides the opportunity to build relationships with a variety of stakeholders, from office executives to “bakers in the kitchen.”
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I enjoy having the ability to make an impact on the big picture and enjoy doing work that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. The bakery can’t run without power, and it is satisfying to be able to see the direct impact the work we do has on the bakery. We have the autonomy to lead projects and learn from each other by working in tight-knit groups. You’re surrounded by experts that guide and support you, so you continue to develop and learn new skills and abilities every day.
What kind of education or training opportunities did you take to become successful?
Cleveland State Community College — A.A.S. in Industrial Technology, Electronics Concentration.
The program, focused on industrial electronics, was a great way to get my foot in the door and get experience in a field I didn’t expect, but was still related to industrial electronics. It was half/half hands-on and classroom work. It was a good career prep program that helped prepare me for the workforce.
What educational path, workforce development or on-the-job training have you had?
I initially started out as an intern at McKee Foods. The training program was for the Corporate Shops and demonstrated how the various trades (electrical, welding, sheet metal and machining) worked together to manufacture McKee Foods products. It provided the opportunity to work in all areas of the shop assisting the journeymen electricians on various projects. You were treated like a regular employee and gained relevant work experience while learning.
Additional training I had on the job that’s vital is the National Electric Code Class along with other various certifications and classes such as CPR training.
What would you tell a high school student or adult considering a career similar to yours?
I would encourage them to learn more about trade jobs. Jobs for electrical workers are anticipated to grow by 10% through 2028. It’s a high-demand job and you can easily find work as construction continues to rapidly evolve and older buildings need upgrades to operate under code.
Also, network as much as you can. You’ll be amazed at the connections you make and how they can grow your career. I am still currently working toward my original goal of being an Electronics Technician, but it is important to take advantage of the opportunities that are given along the way.
What training do you feel is most valuable to someone considering a career similar to yours?
- Journeyman License
- Trade school programming
What do you enjoy best working for McKee Foods?
At McKee Foods, they really care about your professional development. There is a sense of teamwork and open communication where questions are always welcome. You’re exposed to other departments and the company encourages you cross-train and develop your skill sets in other areas. They genuinely want you to succeed and will help you reach your career goals.