Making STEM Careers Accessible to Everyone

STEM career training is critical to Cummins long-term success.

As local students returned to school in the U.S., Cummins leaders recently joined policymakers to discuss a question plaguing industries around the world: how can society prepare and encourage more children, especially girls, to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and manufacturing?

Women make up approximately 20 percent of engineering undergraduates in the United States, and careers in these fields often are not even considered by younger students. Without awareness of the potential of these career paths, these numbers are unlikely to improve.

Three Cummins leaders beat the odds and today are passionate about sharing the positive attributes of engineering careers with others: Tracy Embree, Vice President and President, Components; Jennifer Rumsey, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, and Jasmine Kang, Plant Manager, Charleston Turbo Plant.

They hosted the discussion at the Cummins Turbo Technologies Plant in Ladson, South Carolina (U.S.A.) Attendees included community leaders, STEM camp facilitators and educators from the College of Charleston STEM Camp, high school students and apprenticeship students.

“You have to create a culture in your workplaces that leads to success for all folks,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who provided opening remarks. “I’m excited that Cummins is a classic example of making sure things that happen in a good, positive, constructive way for the workforce of the future.”

Scott was referring to Cummins’ investment in programs to help build a pipeline of internal talent, as well as the next generation of engineers. The company has mentoring circles, an active Women’s Affinity Group, a Technical Women’s Initiative and a number of Corporate Responsibility programs to help address this goal.

Emily Hertwig, Global Synchronized Business Planning Process Leader at Cummins, moderated a robust discussion of topics ranging from mentoring to how to better engage and support teachers. U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, Wrenzie Rice, a former Cummins engineer, and Elisabeth Kovacs, Deputy Director of Workforce Development, South Carolina Department of Commerce, each provided valuable insights into work happening in South Carolina, a state that is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance.

The problem is complicated, but sometimes straightforward advice matters most: “Take the hard classes. Challenge yourself. Be flexible. You learn from every single thing you do,” Wrenzie Rice said.

And it’s one that is deeply personal for Cummins leaders. “In Cummins history I am the company's first female CTO. I want to be sure I'm not the last," said Rumsey.

katie zarich author bio photo

Katie Zarich

Katie Zarich is Manager of External Communications for Cummins Inc. She joined the Company in 2015 after more than a decade working in government and the nonprofit sector. [email protected]

Meet Mukesh Oswal - Shop Operations Lead, Kothrud Engine Plant

I Am Manufacturing

Mukesh Oswal, Shop Operations Lead at Kothrud Engine Plant, has 15 years experience in Manufacturing. We recently sat down with Mukesh to ask about his career at Cummins. Here's what he had to say.

Role: Shop Operations Lead
Location: Kothrud Engine Plant (KEP), Pune, India, Power Systems Business Unit
Years of Service: 13 Years at Cummins, 15 Years in Manufacturing
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Production Engineering, North Maharashtra University, India; Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India; Post Graduate Executive Management Programme, S. P. Jain Business School, Mumbai, India.
Career Journey: Project Management (new plant setup), Industrial Engineer, Industrial Engineering Team Leader, Operation Excellence Leader, Head Manufacturing Engineering, Shop Operation Lead

Q: What attracted you to Manufacturing as a career choice?

“I have been inquisitive and a technology enthusiast since childhood. I had always envisioned my drawings and scribbles taking shape and form. During my Engineering Degree course, it was a dream come true when in summer training I got an opportunity to witness and work for two weeks with an engine component manufacturing setup. This was the birth of my association with manufacturing.

“My desire to learn and apply more forced me to complete my master’s degree in Industrial Engineering where, again, I got an opportunity to be associated with Cummins. It is here that I realized manufacturing is more than just assembling the different parts together – it meant following processes, understanding material flows, layouts and synchronization, the machines, their efficiencies and their limitations all put together in the hands of skilled and knowledgeable operators who put their heart and soul into producing engineering splendors!

“I had found my passion and love in manufacturing. This passion still drives me to innovate and fuels my innate desire to discover more new things in manufacturing.”

Q: Is Manufacturing at Cummins exciting for you? If so, why?

“Yes, the manufacturing space at Cummins is very exciting for me. Each day it brings different, unpredictable challenges, which keeps me active and engaged. At the end of the day, when I look over my daily engagement and involvement, it generates a lot of satisfaction for me. This adds confidence for making the next day even better.

Manufacturing also provides me with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and hone on my leadership skills, like meeting customers and their expectations while ensuring business deliverables, developing mid-term and long-term strategies, challenging capabilities of cross-functional teams and aligning complex teams toward a common and shared objective.

“I see the company is continuously investing in leadership development within manufacturing. For example, I was selected among many nominations in India ABO for a reach training course named Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing (VLFM) program, conducted jointly by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).”
 
Q: There are many misconceptions or ideas about what it’s like to work in a plant. What is the plant environment like for you? 

“Sometimes I hear that people feel the plant environment is not very opulent for growth. My views are quite opposite to this due to what I have witnessed in my last 15 years of association with manufacturing plants and teams. Opportunities and avenues for growth in Manufacturing are available in abundance. All it takes is sheer hard work, persistence and a little faith. Just don’t get distracted by the diversions available; there are ample growth opportunities for those to thrive to stay in manufacturing.” 

Q: What advice would you give to someone either in school or just out of school who is wanting to get into manufacturing today?

"Manufacturing is an excellent space in which to start your career, especially for someone who is willing to apply school/college learnings to applications quickly. It provides you with ample ground to innovative new ideas and improvise old ones. The diverse manufacturing spectrum at Cummins provides one with a conducive learning environment for beginners having different skill sets.
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Uses Summer Program to Connect Youth with Engineering

SEEK third grader controls her team's robot through the obstacle course, as Cummins employees, SEEK mentors and others watch in amazement.
SEEK third grader controls her team's robot through the obstacle course, as Cummins employees, SEEK mentors and others watch in amazement.

When you were in third, fourth or fifth grade, did you build remote controlled robots, operational gliders or write computer codes for video games? Thanks to a partnership between Cummins Inc. and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), nearly 80 elementary school students from the Minneapolis area gained these experiences this summer. 

The Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) is the largest summer engineering program geared toward African-American and other underrepresented elementary school youth in the U.S. The three-week program is wrapping up its 12th year, and with Cummins support the program recently completed its first summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. SEEK gives elementary aged students the opportunity to learn and experience science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through weekly competitive projects, and guidance from NSBE mentors and Cummins volunteers.

Each day volunteers from the Cummins Shoreview and Fridley locations spent their time at SEEK to provide the students and college mentors their professional real-world expertise. In fact, Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering Gary Johansen and Vice President of U.S. Diversity Initiatives Lori Thompson volunteered as judges for one of the weekly competitions. 

Fourth grade SEEK participants race to answer an engineering trivia question, as judges from the Shoreview and Fridley facilities look on.
Fourth grade SEEK participants race to answer an engineering trivia question, as judges from the Shoreview and Fridley facilities look on.


“This was an awesome experience,” said Johansen. “The enthusiasm and knowledge of the students was so impressive and exciting to see. These young people are so far ahead of where I was at their age and if they are a glimpse into the future of engineering, the future of our industry looks bright. Hopefully, many of the students will continue the engineering path and look to Cummins to grow their talents and help position Cummins as the global power technology leader for the next 100 years.”

During the three-week program, the youth learned about key engineering historical figures and facts, different engineering disciplines and specialties, environmental sustainability, teamwork, problem solving and more. Each week the students were given a project, formed teams and competed against one another. The first week, the youth learned aeronautical engineering principles and made gliders, the second week they learned about robotics and made remote controlled robots, and the camp concluded with the teams developing computer apps and video games during the final week.

Two SEEK third grade youth begin to send their robot through the obstacle course.
Two SEEK third grade youth begin to send their robot through the obstacle course.


Thompson added, “As a judge it was interesting to watch the teams work together, decide on the answers, then select a spokesperson who presented the answers. Then, to see a team of five children huddled around a laptop enthusiastically explaining how they coded a computer game with pictures, music, movement and surprises was so exciting. There are few words to explain seeing the kids eagerly learning and participating with no ball, no cell phones and the only video game in sight was the one they created. It was magical!”  

“When I first came to the camp I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but after being here (at SEEK) I think I want to be an environmental or computer engineer,” said Azariah Barrows, a fifth grade SEEK participant.

Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering Gary Johansen prepares to field a question from a young future engineer.
Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering Gary Johansen prepares to field a question from a young future engineer.

Many of the young scholars forged a similar interest in engineering, thanks to SEEK. Mohammad Sumbudu, a second grade SEEK participant stated, “My favorite part of the camp was making friends, building the gliders and I want to come back next year.” 

Although this was the first year of SEEK in Minneapolis, the on-site NSBE/SEEK leadership have been responsible for launching and maintaining SEEK programs around the country. “I have been responsible for several SEEK programs, and what made this one especially different was the involvement of our sponsor,” said Osato Uzamere, SEEK Operations Site Coordinator. “The support we have received from Cummins has been unparalleled. At other sites, the sponsors have typically provided financial resources but not human resources. This relationship (with Cummins) has been wonderful.” 

Cummins and NSBE have had a long standing relationship. “In 2016, I was asked to become the Executive Sponsor and Co-Chair of NSBE with Maurice Dantzler (Cummins Electronic Control Director), with the idea to determine how we deepen the relationship and make it more beneficial for both parties (Cummins and NSBE)”, Thompson added. “In July of 2017, we hosted the NSBE Leadership Team and recent NSBE hires, and discussed ways we could strengthen our partnership. One way was introducing elementary age students to engineering. Enter SEEK for third through fifth grade.”  

Fourth grade future engineer makes some last minute adjustments to his team’s robot.
Fourth grade future engineer makes some last minute adjustments to his team’s robot.

The Cummins team walked away from the session and identified SEEK as one of the initiatives it wanted to support. The program fit well with the priorities of the Cummins Foundation, thus Cummins became an anchor sponsor.  

The SEEK program is just another way Cummins is helping to build stronger communities and advancing its mission to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world. 
 

SEEK staff and youth take time to take a picture with a few of the Cummins volunteers.
SEEK staff and youth take time to take a picture with a few of the Cummins volunteers.

 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

‘Synergy Is Power’ says Cummins communications session in São Paulo

Around 90 employees attended the São Paulo ‘Synergy is Power’ event
Around 90 employees attended the São Paulo ‘Synergy is Power’ event .

Cummins Power Systems Brazil has hosted an All Employees’ Meeting aimed at bringing people and teams closer together.

Power Systems Brazil recently held an All Employees’ Meeting to encourage integration in all senses – integration of people, of products and technologies, and of businesses. Cummins Latin America leader José Samperio led the event, joined by Alex Savelli, Executive Director of Power Generation, and Jorge Machuca, then Leader of Power Generation Mexico and Central America.

The event was a great opportunity for employees to enjoy a shared experience
The event was a great opportunity for employees to enjoy a shared experience.

‘Synergy is Power’ was the theme of the session, attended by around 90 employees in Guarulhos, São Paulo in late May. The importance of synergy in achieving goals was discussed, and special reference made to the development of Cummins Latin America’s Goal Tree 2018 initiatives. Further topics covered, in a wide-ranging agenda of synergy issues, included: the power of women, new teams, financial results and ISO audit.

Integration and synergy between teams was highlighted by use of a photo totem, where people could take pictures of themselves together, print them, and then have them displayed. Before the closing lunch, presentations were made of new employees, new parents, new graduates, changes of areas and birthdays of the month. At the very end of the session, the Power Systems Agradece Committee thanked the supply chain team for their efforts with suppliers.

The event was a good opportunity to update everyone with the latest achievements of Cummins in the region. These include the recent completion of a nearby cogeneration project which Cummins Power Systems, in partnership with Cummins Sales and Services Distributor (CVSMG), has carried out for Rhodia Brasil, a company of the Solvay Group.

Rhodia Brasil took delivery of three Cummins C1100 N6C gas generator sets.
Rhodia Brasil took delivery of three Cummins C1100 N6C gas generator sets.

Three Cummins C1100 N6C gas generator sets have been successfully delivered and installed at the Solvay Group’s Santo André plant in the São Paulo metropolitan region. The plant can now produce 3 MW of electric power, 2.8 tons of steam and an average volume of 30 cubic meters of water per minute, at a temperature of 90º C.

Cummins successfully dealt with the challenges of the project and met the customers’ schedule. “The project was started in December 2017 and we were able to complete the delivery of the generator sets on May 3rd, 2018. This project will allow our client to have a large savings in their energy matrix,” commented Carlos Alberto Silame, PD&I Supervisor for Power Systems.

 


 

Fabiana Menezes

Fabiana is the Corporate Communications Specialist for Cummins Power Systems Latin America. She graduated in Journalism and has pursued a career in Corporate Communications with ten years' experience at multinational companies from different sectors. She joined the company in February, 2018. 

Meet RMEP: We are Rocky Mount Engine Plant

Rocky Mount Engine Plant was established in 1979 and has since produced over 4 million engines. We took a deeper dive to learn more about our North Carolina plant. Learn more:

Plant Location: Whitakers, North Carolina
Year opened: 1981 (the first engine was produced and shipped in 1983)
Plant size: 1.2 million square feet
Business Unit: Engine Business Unit
Plant manager: John Judd
Employee count: 1,800
Products: On-highway (automotive) and off-highway diesel engines (65-600 brake horsepower)
Customers: RMEP has more than 530 customers, including: Daimler, Freightliner, Navistar, Blue Bird, Komatsu, Kenworth, Peterbilt, New Flyer and International.
Product applications (including, but not limited to): 
On-highway – semi cabs, pick-up trucks, school and public buses, RVs, fire trucks
Off-highway – marine, military vehicles, construction equipment
Technologies: Computer integrated machining, new engineering technology center, introduction of marine engines and alternative fuels

RMEP RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

  • In March 2017, RMEP celebrated the build of its 4 millionth engine.
  • April 2018 was the highest monthly production in its history.
  • Forecasting shows 2018 will be the highest engine and components demand ever.
  • Projected investments will top $23 million in capital throughout 2018.
  • RMEP is a top three employer in the area and projected to fill more than 400 additional jobs over the next 10 years.

A RICH HISTORY

1979    RMEP was originally established in 1979 as a joint venture between JI Case and Cummins Engine Company and was named Consolidated Diesel Company (CDC). 

1983    The first engine was produced at CDC for North America and European markets.

1993    CDC added 11 megawatts of on-site generating power using Cummins/Onan technology. The 1 millionth engine was produced at CDC in June.

1996    CDC introduced the 4-valve head technology to improve emissions.

2001    The 2 millionth engine was produced at CDC in October.

2008    After 25 years, Cummins purchased the full share of CDC and was renamed Rocky Mount Engine Plant (RMEP). 

2010    The 3 millionth engine was produced at RMEP in June.

2013    Marine engine assembly moved to RMEP.

2017    The 4 millionth engine was produced at RMEP in March.

2018    April was the highest production month in RMEP’s history.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • 10 education partners in surrounding districts, including community colleges, public school systems, libraries and community partners
  • Recorded more than 20,000 EEEC hours with education and community partners over the last 2 years (with more than 70 percent employee participation)
  • Established The Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership (STEP) to improve the educational opportunities for students from early childhood to career readiness.
  • 10 equality of opportunity partners and three environmental partners
  • 2017 United Way campaign raised $503,448 after a Cummins Foundation match for the local agency branch

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES 

Technological advances in manufacturing and the increase in demand make RMEP and Cummins Manufacturing an exciting place to work. RMEP offers career opportunities in a number of fields, including: 

  • Manufacturing Operations
  • Quality Roles and Analytics
  • Industrial Technology
  • Material Handling
  • Engineering (multiple disciplines)
  • Supply Chain – Planning and Logistics
  • Information Technology
  • Administrative Services
  • Finance Technicians
  • Future Cummins Leaders
Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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