Recognizing Potential: Matt’s Story

Posted on: April 16, 2019

Matt Thompson is the second shift supervisor at Wilson’s flagship plant in St. Louis. But that’s not where his story started. Years ago, Matt was an 18-year-old who had just graduated from high school in need of a job. He submitted what seemed like hundreds of resumes for open positions in the area, and only received two calls back. One was from Arby’s. The other was from Wilson. 

Matt had applied for an open janitorial position and came in to take Wilson’s assessment, which is a mathematics test given to every new employee to assess their knowledge. It contains questions ranging from elementary math up through basic trigonometry and machinist questions. 

Matt performed so well on the test that leaders at Wilson began to question whether a janitorial positions was the best fit for him. Our VP of Operations Chris Wilson approached Matt and asked if he would be willing to interview for a Quality Control position. Matt agreed, and accepted the position. 

The potential that the team saw in Matt’s assessment began to show itself as he got into his role as Quality Control. As he gained more experience at Wilson, he began taking the initiative to assist our interim second shift supervisor across different areas of the shop. He learned and helped out in shipping, heat treating, and many other departments.

Five years after starting at Wilson, Matt became our second shift plant supervisor and displays his passion for our people and our quality every day. He’s currently responsible for overseeing the second shift’s production schedule and ensuring operations run smoothly. Matt takes a hands on approach to his role at Wilson, filling in to help out where he can and also making sure our team members have the equipment they need to perform their jobs. 

“Some people talk about the American dream,” Matt said when asked about what makes working at Wilson unique. “By 23 I owned a house, had a brand new car, all on my own. This is a great place to work if you don’t have a college education, all you need is the willingness to learn.”

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