- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Military-to-Civilian Transition Success Story: Growth Equals Opportunity at Electric Motor & Contracting Co., Inc.
by Janet Farley, Contributing Editor

Article Sponsored by:

Shaun Hicks and Tom Mints, two

Quality Control Technicians hired

through BMI in 2008.

In every business, you plan for growth. The past two years have been exceptionally good in terms of growth at Electric Motor and Contracting Company, Incorporated (EMC), and that's just fine with Steve Newing, President of the Chesapeake, Va. - based company. EMC has found that candidates in the military-to-civilian transition are a great talent pool to recruit from.

"Our business has grown 25 to 30% in the past two years," said Newing, crediting the fact that his company is one of only a few in the country that offer the full gamut of services for the nuclear power industry.

In addition to providing services to the nuclear power sector, EMC also provides high-quality, high-value shop and field services to the users of rotating electrical and mechanical equipment. Innovative solutions are considered business as usual by EMC engineers.

EMC employs approximately 200 and serves a variety of government organizations, such as the U.S. Navy, utility companies, paper mills, shipyards, chemical plants and hospitals.

Since 1960, the company has grown from being a small motor shop into one of the largest firms of its type on the East Coast, having a state-of-the-art facility filled with in-kind technology.

EMC clearly prides itself on the quality of its employees who are experts in rebuilding and remanufacturing electrical and mechanical equipment. 

On the team at EMC, you will find a variety of job titles that include motor winders, motor mechanics, machinists, electrical and mechanical engineers, quality assurance technicians, switchgear technicians and field service technicians. The company also employs truck drivers, administrative clerks, and sales and management personnel.

Upward career progression is a possibility as well. Newing himself is a prime example. He started working with the company over 25 years ago as a salesman. Through the years, he has worked his way up to his current position as president.

With success...

Newing is pleased with the company's progression but he is quick to point out that such success comes with staffing challenges as well.

"We work in the services industry. When someone needs our brand of expertise, we provide it. We don't tell that customer that we will get to it when we feel like it. We take care of them immediately," said Newing.

Being able to provide that immediate response means having the staff on board and ready to roll on a moment's notice.

"Because of our growth, we've had to hire on new employees," said Newing.
To assist him in solving his staffing needs, Newing charged his human resources manager, Melissa Griffin, to find the right people. Griffin turned to Bradley-Morris, Inc., (BMI) and account representative Justin Henderson for assistance.
The results have been highly positive for EMC.

"In the past ten months, we have hired six prior service members from BMI alone," says Newing.

Newing has been awed with the skills and professional demeanor found in those who have worn the military uniform.

"Compared to what we were finding off the street, through the front door and through placed advertising, the quality of personnel we have hired through BMI is just phenomenal," said Newing.

"Those who have served in the military understand what it takes to get the job done and that's what we look for in our employees," said Newing.

Newing himself personally attended a BMI ConferenceHire hiring event in Hampton, Va. to get a feel for the process.

"I was impressed with what I saw. Justin Henderson, our BMI account representative, ensured that the candidates were pre-screened and that their skills appropriately matched to our needs. That meant that none of our valuable time was wasted," said Newing.

"Whenever I source a transitioning service member who has a specific type of nuclear background, I think of EMC," said Henderson.

That's just what he did when he met former U.S. Navy Petty Officer, 2nd Class Eric Husser.

Eric's story

When Husser decided to get out of the Navy, he contacted BMI because some of his friends who transitioned out before him had success with the placement company.

In March 2008, after working closely with Henderson and being matched with EMC via BMI's TargetHire¨ service, Husser found himself employed as a project manager by EMC in its Wampum, Pa. branch. There, the company offers complete contaminated motor service, including the capability to perform full scope refurbishment and rewind of reactor coolant pump motors and reactor "re-circ" pump motors.

The skills Husser learned and honed in the Navy as a nuclear propulsion operator were invaluable. He is also grateful to Henderson for listening to him and successfully assisting in his placement with EMC.

Advice for others in a military-to-civilian transition
For those who are experiencing a military-to-civilian transition, Husser offers some good advice.

"Getting out of the military can be an intimidating process. If you are married, remember that your spouse is going through the same transition as you are and it is best to work together to see it through," said Husser.

"Pursue your education and don't let anything stand in your way," said Husser who after leaving the Navy eventually earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology at Old Dominion University.

Finally, he suggests you keep in mind one solid reality.

"Things just aren't always going to go the way you want them to. You have to keep working at it and you will succeed," said Husser.


Janet Farley is the author of “The Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide and she writes the JobTalk column for the Stars and Stripes newspaper.  She can be reached at for comments and/or column suggestions.


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