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BY petevanepps

Post-military career in manufacturing: Find out what it’s like (E198)

Welcome back! This is the second installment in our Career Field series podcasts. In our first episode (Episode 192), we featured three Cameron-Brooks alumni who explained their careers within the Engineering Management Career field. In this episode, we invited two of our alumni who launched their careers within Manufacturing. After listening to them, you’ll have a better understanding where a post-military career in manufacturing can take your career.

Michael Warwick is a former Army Infantry/AG officer. He attended the August 2017 Career Conference and started his career at Oldcastle Building Envelope, which creates glass products for commercial and residential buildings. He spent 5 years at that company, becoming the Plant Manager of his facility before being promoted to General Manager, covering Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. In that role, he managed all aspects of the business, from production to sales and business development functions. This allowed him to pull different levers to positively affect the profit and loss (P&L) of the overall business. In 2023, he moved to American Bath Group (ABG), a company that produces a myriad of different products that are installed in bathrooms. As a Division Manager, he manages and oversees two different companies within ABG, Swan and Florestone. In this role, he oversees both lines of business, from production, distribution, branding and marketing to new product development.

Brandon Slocum is a former Army Armor officer. He attended the January 2018 Career Conference. He launched his career at Pactiv Evergreen. In the first few years of his career, he watched Pactiv move from a privately held to a publicly traded company. He started as an Operations Unit Manager, managing different teams and lines of product production. From there, he spent some time as an Operations Talent Manager on the Training and Development team, where he traveled to different Pactiv facilities throughout the country to standardize practices across the companies. For the last 4+ years, he’s served as a Plant Manager in two different locations. He started as the Plant Manager in their Chicago facility, leading 275 team members in making packaging material for different high-volume restaurants. Currently, he is leading the Temple, TX facility, leading 550 team members, managing the entire South/Southwest of consumer products for Hefty and Reynolds, as well as products for Costco, Walmart, and Sam’s Clubs.

In this episode, Michael and Brandon answer three key questions: what exactly is manufacturing? What are the common misconceptions people have about starting a career in manufacturing? What are the key competencies that someone must possess to lead a successful post-military career in manufacturing?

I think you’ll find Michael and Brandon’s experiences encouraging and exciting. The interesting thing is when both of these leaders attended the Cameron-Brooks Career Conference, they interviewed with around 10-12 different companies within different industries and across different career fields, including manufacturing. In doing so, they were able to assess different opportunities to find the best opportunity among many. When Michael chose Oldcastle and Brandon chose Pactiv, they made a decision that launched their career with the best fit, and they’ve never looked back. If you are interested in doing that type of career search, reach out to me directly.

Pete Van Epps || pvanepps@cameron-brooks.com || (210) 874-1519

Cameron-Brooks has a 50-year track record of guiding military officers to create a step-by-step plan to learn about their options, connect their military experiences directly to opportunities in corporate America, craft a resume that will stand out to hiring managers, and ultimately launch a successful business career.