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Hey everyone. Stay tuned to the end of the interview where I’ll give you some actionable insights that I learned from my guest. These insights are also in the show notes. As always, thanks for listening.
Now on to my guest for today, Jason Azevedo, Chief Strategy Officer at the Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America, a private equity firm that acquires, builds up and modernizes established manufacturing companies, eventually giving all ownership back to the employees.
Jason's experience with entrepreneurship started when he was 15 and he began a business printing T-shirts. The business did not last long, however, due to the impact of the recession of 2008. Yet Jason didn't give up; he went on to found his own companies and eventually cofounded MRCA.
In this episode, Jason and I talk about how far manufacturing has come and how it's not the picture many people think it is. Companies are finding it more efficient and less expensive to build products in the U.S. The main challenge is finding employees - not because the work isn't fulfilling or well compensated, but because of outworn stereotypes of working in manufacturing. Manufacturing, says Jason, is one of the only industries that allows someone to start without a college degree, be trained, and work their way up into management. The work that MRCA does also seeks to help turn around the devastation wrought on many towns throughout America when companies closed their plants and left. MRCA focuses on helping to grow the company and keeping communities strong while also valuing employee wellness and input.
Now, let’s get better together.
- Automation has not eliminated jobs per se, nor does it have to. What it does mean is that people are needed for doing jobs only people can do, involving critical thinking and problem solving.
- The best way to change the perspective on working in manufacturing is by ensuring employees are happy and fulfilled, showing that manufacturing can be a route to a fulfilling work life.
- One early lesson Jason learned was to not listen to others' fears, especially those who haven't been entrepreneurs themselves. Once he started seeking advice from successful business owners, he found a lot more support, encouragement, and help.