Josh Teddleton is a senior project manager at Thomas Industrial Coatings. Here he talks about why he thinks Thomas Industrial Coatings is a great place to work.
Josh Teddleton is a senior project manager at Thomas Industrial Coatings. Here he talks about why he thinks Thomas is a great place to work.
You started with Thomas in 2006 is that right?
Yes, I did.
What was your job title when you were first hired on at TIC?
I was hired as a project manager. At, least that’s the position they wanted me for. I went through a lot of training to get to the point where I was comfortable managing projects.
So you were groomed with Thomas?
And you’re a Senior Project Manager now, correct?
You have a better idea of what you’re doing now, right?
I think I have a handle on things at this point. I’m responsible for a couple project managers now. I’ve got a few guys working under me, doing what I used to do.
I took on more projects by virtue of building a team and working it from that angle. Instead of me working five or six projects by myself, I have six to ten with a team.
Did you know much about the company culture before you began working at TIC? Does TIC have a reputation amongst people in the industry who don’t work there?
I think, within the coatings industry, everyone looks at Thomas as the company out in front of everyone else. We’re the ones they’re chasing.
I don’t know that it was that way when I started here. That’s what we had always strived to be, but we hadn’t yet set ourselves apart from anyone else. Over the years that’s what we’ve been able to do, and that’s what we hope to continue to do. We want to be setting the trends for the industry rather than following them.
What would you say are the qualities found at Thomas that helped them to take the lead?
Well first and foremost it’s the people. From management to the field, the people make Thomas what it is.
The next thing is safety. Because everyone here takes this commitment to safety seriously, we’re committed to the continuing evolution of our safety program. That affects the thought process of everyone, from management all the way through to field personnel.
Lastly, it’s our ability with and our passion for technology. We’re committed to investing in technology, learning it and employing it successfully.
You’re traveling to different job sites often, do you like seeing all these new places?
I love it. I made up an unofficial Thomas motto, “Thomas Industrial Coatings: see America one structure at a time.” We have a beautiful country.
It’s always nice to see new places and to meet new people. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some quality people in my travels. That’s something I really enjoy.
What are other aspects of your job that you especially enjoy?
Oddly enough I like it when things are going wrong. I like when I have to think on my feet and make adjustments on the fly. I tend to think I work my best when I have things coming at me from all angles.
When I have a lot going on, I’m more dialed in and task oriented than when I just have enough work to get me through the day. I operate better when I know the work never ends, when things aren’t going according to plan and we need a new one.
What is it that you like about managing other project managers?
I didn’t necessarily have a mentor when I started as a project manager, because I was one of the first ones hired to fill that role. I learned on the job.
Now that the protocol for the position is in place, I get to be a mentor for the guys who are in the position I was in. I like filling that role.
Given that your job puts you in situations with heavy machinery, moving parts, high places, etc., how does TIC demonstrate that they take your safety seriously?
It starts with the training. We train, and we train and we retrain. We make sure we’re covered for any exposures we could potentially face. That’s a big part of it.
Another part of it is, if you ask the budget for our safety department, the answer is there is no budget. They have an open checkbook. They’re going to do whatever they have to in order to make sure their crews come home safely. A lot of companies don’t operate that way. It’s an area where some contractors are willing to cut corners.
It is the top-down belief at Thomas that, if you make safety your top priority, quality and productivity will follow. That’s the mantra around here.
Are there certain aspects of the management’s values you especially identify with?
Absolutely. The relationship between the management side of this company and the project delivery side is so strong. That’s not something you get in every industrial company.
A lot of times manpower is moving around so often that those relationships don’t get built. For whatever reason, Thomas’s guys tend to stay with the company. Once they get here, they want to be here. You start seeing the same faces over and over on different projects. Thomas retains field personnel better than some of the others in the industry, and there are good reasons for that.
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