Meet Ronda Wilkinson – presented by PwC

Environmental, Health and Safety Professional, Arconic, Aerospace & Defense

What do you enjoy most about working in manufacturing? The people. I love the diverse workgroup I am around. Also, I appreciate the advancement/growth opportunities that are available to me. Arconic has so many facilities, you can work in a smaller facility, which is where I work now, or a large facility, which is where I worked for the last 26 years. It is an environment where you can be as busy as you want to be. Once you decide what type of work you want to pursue, Arconic offers many opportunities. I am never bored. It is up to the individual on how engaged they want to be.

I also love that my company supports environmental, health and safety to the extent that it does. I never question their dedication to the health and safety of its employees, as well as their commitment to preventing environmental impacts. I love that I am a part of the process where we create a product that is used around the world. The facility where I work supplies the skin sheets for airplanes! I help get airplanes into the sky!

What attracted you to a career in manufacturing? The main reason I went into manufacturing was because I was a single mom and I needed a job where the wages were sufficient to support my family. I also needed adequate benefits, such as medical and dental insurance. I was able to achieve this by going into manufacturing. I also wanted to find a career where there was stability. I wanted to be able to retire from that job. I’ve been in manufacturing for 28 years and I plan on staying longer.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about creating their future in manufacturing? Go for it!! There are so many opportunities and so many different types of jobs in manufacturing. Manufacturing is not going away. You can have a high school diploma or a degree — there is something for everyone.

It is also what you put into it. The more drive you have, the further you go. I started out on the production floor, working in the pot lines on the night shift where I made raw aluminum. I now manage the environmental, health and safety at an aerospace facility. I love my job.