Growing up, my dad was my inspiration. He worked harder than any man I know, and would sometimes be gone for weeks at a time securing big contracts or hitting his sales target. Unlike today, his workforce didn’t have the internet, and instead relied on face to face communications and an old fashion value set. One of the most memorable pieces of advice he gave me was, “Son, never give them a watery promise or a ducks handshake.” I think what he was really saying is nothing compares to dedication and grit.
Todays workforce is a different landscape. With the news pumping stories of record unemployment, low wages, and employment rights being denied almost daily, it can be hard to share my father’s optimism. In his world, a career was for life, and a salary covered all if not more than his families needs. The funny thing is, if you asked me, or many people from my workforce, if they would trade it all in for the comfort of reliability and stability, we would probably say no. I know I sure did…
Yes, my world is completely different than his — hello internet, WiFi, Starbucks, and mobile dreams, but with it comes a new sense of what we can achieve and higher limits. The workforce of today has grit and determination, but it also has innovation, ground breaking ideas, and a swagger that breaks the mould. New companies are breaking the bank on the daily, and guys aren’t afraid to say no thanks to the corporate life and do their own thing.
As part of a new and exciting web series exploring workforce trends and changes, “1 in one hundred million,” Kronos is celebrating the people by spotlighting the talent who make our modern lives possible! [WATCH HERE]
Ep: 13 – Zach Feary Stern Pinball, Chicago
In next week’s episode 13, we meet Zach Feary, a 27-year-old game tester at Chicago-based Stern Pinball. Zach works at the end of the assembly line and has to play each pinball machine and tweak it before it can be shipped; can you think of a more perfect job? Zach walks us through the testing process, showing a traditional skill set applied to modern techniques. Each game looks flawless, and will be put through a gauntlet of tests to ensure customers receives a perfect game.
“We all compete with each other at the factory and at arcades.” According to Zach, “I was born with a controller in my hands.” He loves pinball because of the physical aspects you can’t get with video games. It’s tangible, in your face, loud, fun. Zach also demonstrates a trend in today’s workforce, which is more people following their passion, rather than an expected career path. The machines are 100% made in the US, and ship anywhere from 400-500 games per week, showing a huge consumer demand too.
Chicago was the capital of pinball machine companies: Gotleib, Bally, Midway, Williams, and Stern. Stern is the only survivor, and the company is breathing new life into the industry with a newly expanded 110,000 square foot factory serving a new trend among millennials to play pinball. They have classic machines from 50s and 60ís in-house and the latest electronic machines. Pinball is experiencing a renaissance – the industry is becoming more and more popular. There’s a whole new “Barcade” scene in Chicago that is expanding throughout the US.
Join the conversation at #1in100MM and #WorkforceStories and let us know what you think of 1 in one million, we will be watching along at www.1in100million.com.
Thank you to Kronos for sponsoring this article; while we do on occasion receive product and or compensation, we do vet all sponsors to ensure any brand messages align with our core values.