Finding the Passion
When you take a risk and invest in yourself and your passion, sometimes you discover your true passion. This happened when Matt, Kiwi Newton Group’s Lead Hand for the Mechanical Department, took a chance and changed career paths.
Eight years ago, Matt took a chance and went from working as a field service technician for a factory automation company, to an apprentice in the growing Mechanical department at Kiwi Newton Group. Right from the start, Matt found his groove and took the initiative to handle the paperwork for the department and coordination of daily work.
Previous experience in field service made this these types of tasks an easy transition. This initiative did not go unnoticed by the department manager, Gerald, who took immediate notice of the natural leadership qualities Matt was showcasing and began mentoring him. From project coordination, estimating, field servicing (a familiar experience), and eventually supervising. It was not long before Matt became Gerald's, right-hand man. A dependable fixture for the department that clients have grown to trust to get the job at hand completed on time and within budget.
After getting first-hand project experience, Matt realized he was enjoying his new profession more than his previous one. Not to say the role is without its challenges, especially in a high-level commercial setting. When an entire facilities ability to continue production hinges on the task at hand being completed, tensions can get high, but quite often this is when people perform to the best of their abilities. Plumbing on a Commercial level brings a vastly different working environment than a typical residential setting would. Things in commercial settings are always done on a much larger scale, in sometimes harsher environments, however, these challenges make this line of work more interesting; no day is ever the same, and the projects are almost always impressive. Matt recalls working on the Innovation Hub (iHub) building, a project with a layout concept that was unique in its design and included a full-scale gym and yoga studio. He stated this was one of his favourite projects to date. “It is one of the many buildings that we can be proud of,” Matt describes, “it came out beautiful in the end.” The Mechanical team completed all the plumbing and HVAC for the new building and continues to do any service maintenance required to keep that building it top notch condition. The team also services a multitude of factories in the region, always available as a first line of defense to keep these facilities operational and efficient.
New builds are not the only fun projects Matt enjoys working on; taking older factories, and renovating them into new manufacturing facilities is also a favourite. These projects often involve gutting mechanical systems from a building back down to its shell, and installing all-new mechanical systems, resulting in an almost unrecognizable, industry-leading facility. Matt enjoys showing new apprentices these builds and seeing their faces when they realize the departments' capabilities. Teamwork is the heart of this department, and everyone is friends first, a philosophy that is the heart of their success. As the Lead Hand, Matt is responsible for not only knowing how to do the work but directing others to do the work correctly as well. This means constant communication with his team and ensuring all timelines, milestones, and deadlines are met.
As the company continues to grow and venture into new industries, Matt sees the sky as the limit for possibilities for the Mechanical department. As new members join the team, Matt encourages them to embrace the opportunity to grow in the commercial environment, an experience unlike any other, and will take their skills to the next level. Matt encourages all new hires to be obsessed with quality and high standards because “it doesn’t take more time to do something correctly.”