A role model. High energy. Smart. A difference-maker. An inspiration.
These are a handful of words I’ve used – and I’ve heard others use – to describe Erin Amarello, a business manager for Timken’s Bearing Inspection Inc. (BII). Now, we can also call her a 2020 Step Ahead Emerging Leader! The Manufacturing Institute, the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, will be honoring Erin and other women who exemplify leadership in their science, technology, engineering and production careers at a ceremony April 30 in Washington, D.C. Erin is one of only 30 women in the U.S. to be recognized in the Emerging Leader category.
Awards like this one shine a spotlight on the often-unheralded contributions of women in manufacturing. According to the Manufacturing Institute, women make up only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. There’s tremendous opportunity for women to make their mark in the industry, and Erin and other award winners are doing their part to inspire the next generation.
When Erin joined our company in 2015, we knew she was something special and would be an asset to our operations. She has a can-do attitude that rubs off on everyone around her. She isn’t a big fan of the status quo. She takes on every task believing she’ll make it better, and she usually does. True to form, she’s already made a big impact on our company in her brief tenure with us.
In late 2019, we promoted Erin to her current leadership role with Timken’s BII business in Los Alamitos, Calif., overseeing our aerospace bearing repair service operations. Our decision to put her in that position was based on what she showed us at our facility in Keene, where she served as a supervisor, an area operations manager and, later, a materials manager. In her three years at Keene, she helped make a great plant even better by implementing new processes, problem-solving techniques, cross-training and other tactics. Metrics improved across the board, including an 8 percent increase in productivity. All the while, the plant maintained an impeccable safety record.
Erin also helped drive positive cultural shifts throughout the plant through her proactive leadership style. She created programs to increase associate engagement, including improved onboarding training, to help increase retention. Since her arrival, surveys have shown that our associates in Keene are more optimistic than ever about the future and their personal growth. They’re committed to our mission and helping us move the world forward.
In 2017, Erin helped lead the Keene facility’s United Way campaign with the same positive attitude she employs in every aspect of her life. She created a kickoff event for all three shifts – speaking at each – and developed a raffle system for donations. Efforts like these helped increase associate engagement by 12 percent and donations by 36 percent over the prior year. Thanks to these significant improvements, the United Way presented the Keene facility with its Summit Award for the highest per capita gift amount for the company’s size and the Spirit of Monadnock Award, its highest honor for companies that exemplify the spirit of the region.
Erin brings the same level of passion to every challenge she faces – from mentoring students, coaching sports, and judging science fairs to leading manufacturing teams and working towards her master’s degree in systems engineering. She’s now thriving in her new role, and I suspect she’ll continue to rack up accomplishments for years to come.