Many of the most special individuals in manufacturing are the ones who don’t think they are special at all. They are humble, hardworking, dedicated and passionate. They give credit to others far before taking any for themselves. The team at PTM Corporation in Ira Township has one such individual; a champion for manufacturing, a champion for his company and a champion for a community full of young men and women seeking an exciting career path.
“We’re blessed to have John Tucker as our director of human resources; he does so much to make strides for the needed changes in the community to support the growth of manufacturing,” said Donna Russell-Kuhr, the second-generation owner of PTM Corporation. “His skills have helped lead our company while his high morals and impeccable ethic makes it easier for everyone here to do their job. He makes every person feel valued, feel free to contribute and feel like part of a family.”
As a leader for nearly 300 workers, John taught and continues to monitor the PTM Code of Honor. This code has become the secret sauce at PTM, empowering each associate and improving the daily working experience of the team. John carries that code into the community as a PTM representative, actively engaging with many populations to bring awareness of career opportunities within manufacturing.
“John has been a true advocate for our programs and students for many years,” said Fran McBride, assistant director for career and technical education at St. Clair County RESA. “He works tirelessly to promote the values of PTM and the manufacturing industry; to support the next generation of workers in manufacturing; and through his work, he sets the example for the rest of the industry in St. Clair County.”
John has developed relationships and participated in many programs to support an ongoing effort to maintain and grow manufacturing talent. He is active with the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, participates with the Eastern Michigan Manufacturing Association, helps coordinate PTM’s MFG Day events, partners with St. Clair County Community College and Macomb Community College and is a popular speaker who regularly travels the community in support of manufacturing career paths.
“Manufacturing has evolved,” explained Russel-Kuhr. “We need to work with our educators to help prepare the next generation to take on the new challenges in the industry. We need to support and inform administrators, teachers and counselors so they have a realistic and positive view of the opportunities available. There is a talent shortage and John works with educators and students to push for opportunities to incorporate the curriculum necessary to counter this.”
John considers himself a coach for change and even the phrasing is something he cares deeply about.
“The term ‘manager’ is archaic in manufacturing — we’re all coaches, we’re all mentors; you’re either an energy giver or an energy taker,” Tucker says. “In everything I do, when it comes to my team, to my peers, to the students and teachers and parents I talk to, I aim to be an energy giver. It’s about motivating them, fueling them to see what you see in them and to build them up to be better tomorrow than they were yesterday.”
Communication starts with listening and the work John does requires a lot of it. A man driven by his faith, John knows the importance of being open to the needs of others, about hearing what they need and what they dream to be.
“Whatever profession a person chooses, if they don’t feel valued or happy coming into work each day, they are not staying. John works from day one to show them they have value and a purpose here and that our company is better because they work here,” explained Russell-Kuhr. “John is a man of great integrity. In a time where finding and retaining a skilled workforce is crucial, we are so fortunate to have someone like John Tucker to act as our industry’s champion.”