October 4, 2021

Central California Food Bank receives grant

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Working his way to the top

After working as a crater, he worked on the production line as an assembler, then the second shift in the Powder Coating Department. While working in that department, Rob developed an interest in advancing his career in manufacturing.  He used his veteran benefits through the GI Bill to go to school for heating and air conditioning. After earning his associate degree, he spent a year in the Painting Department, then took a role working in the Testing Department for 20 years. 

Another door opened for Rob when he accepted a position as team leader, prompting him to enroll in the company’s Team Leader Development Program to grow his leadership skills. 

“The program was where I finally discovered my niche to pursue a supervisor position. I never dreamed that I would pursue a supervisor role, but the leadership program made me want more for myself,” shared Rob. “Becoming a supervisor became a dream of mine.” 

Rob took advantage of the company’s Tuition Reimbursement Program to go back to school and get the skills and qualifications needed to become a supervisor. Thermo King partnered with Bellevue University, which allowed him to transfer credits from his associate degree and complete an 18-month accelerated program to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Helping others grow like he did

Then Rob’s dream came true.

“It can seem scary going from an hourly role to a salaried role. What pushed me over the fence was when the company developed a supervisor and development role. It was a great opportunity to help me slowly work my way into a salaried supervisor role until I was comfortable.”

After working in manufacturing for 25 years now, he has no plans to retire just yet. Rob loves what he does.

“The biggest seller for me is the people. I care about people. In my role as supervisor, I help others grow. I get to learn what their dreams are and help them develop and get to where they want to be,” said Rob. “If I could offer advice to anyone interested in manufacturing, it’s that this is an industry that offers many opportunities for you to develop and grow into your own niche. We work for a great company that offers resources and support to help you grow your career too, so take advantage of these programs, set goals, and don’t stop until you reach them.”  

You could say that Rob was always seeking opportunities to progress. And it was his drive to progress that pushed him to grow his manufacturing career, working his way from being the dreamer to dreams coming true. 

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For 1 in 4 people in Central California, a daily meal is a choice between food and other critical needs – like medicine, utilities, or childcare. There is no luxury of what to eat. The choice is IF they eat.

September was Hunger Action Month, and it was one platform that food banks like the Central California Food Bank used to educate and encourage communities to come together and make a difference in the fight against hunger. The team ran a ‘30 Ways in 30 Days’ campaign to encourage donations and volunteerism all month long. Contributing to the food bank’s efforts, Trane Technologies’ Thermo King was excited to present a $5,000 grant on behalf of its philanthropic We Move Food program.

Thermo King’s grant helped Central California Food Bank exceed $500,000 in total donations in September, dollars that will help the Feeding America affiliate continue to make a real impact in reducing hunger in the communities it serves. Just $1 helps to provide up to seven meals for those in need. Last year, the organization distributed more than 54 million pounds of food through its network of partners which include food pantries, congregate meals, and school programs.

“We have supported Central California Food Bank for the past several years with volunteerism, donations, and service on behalf of Thermo King’s We Move Food program. Giving back and making a difference in the community is an honor from both a business and personal perspective,” said Ken Nelson, Thermo King of Central California. 

Did You Know...

50% of the food distributed by the Central California Food Bank is fresh produce? Transport refrigeration is vital to their operation, which is why support from Thermo King and its dealers is so helpful.