(MARSHALL) – Two Texas State Technical College in Marshall graduates are ensuring that the production of icing, cupcakes and cookies is trouble-free and on time for clients nationwide.
Derrick Jackson, 41, of Garland and Bradley Moody, 25, of Irving work in maintenance at CSM Bakery Solutions’ manufacturing facility in northwest Dallas. Jackson is a regional maintenance manager working with company-wide safety efforts and providing oversight to plants in Dallas, Houston and Bonner Springs, Kansas. Moody is a maintenance administrator and coordinator.
Jackson and Moody had some things in common before they began working together: both grew up in Marshall and graduated from Marshall High School – Jackson in 1993 and Moody in 2009.
“I still have family in Marshall,” Jackson said. “When Bradley graduated from TSTC, my sister was working in Marshall with his fiancée (now wife) at the time. She told me there was a young man named Bradley working in my field and he was willing to move. We made contact to see what he was looking for. He came up and interviewed and was hired.”
CSM Bakery Solutions has more than 8,500 employees working at 34 manufacturing facilities, 26 distribution centers and four innovation centers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. The industrial baking company’s frozen doughs, batters, brioches, muffins and other items are distributed to customers in 100 nations.
Jackson said the Dallas plant, which has more than 250 employees, can produce more than 300,000 cupcakes in an eight-hour shift. The Dallas plant functions 24 hours a day.
Some of TSTC’s statewide technical programs that fit the company’s mission include Culinary Arts, Computer Science, Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Industrial Systems Technology and Logistics Technology.
“CSM is looking for enthusiastic, positive and hard-working employees,” said Francoise Caraguel, global vice president of talent management based at the company’s headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia. “We look for individuals who are willing to take on roles that will challenge them daily. Communication and the ability to work with others is key.”
Jackson began work at CSM in 2009 after working in industrial maintenance at other organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“Updates in the real world don’t change as fast as technology changes,” Jackson said. “When you walk into a facility, you may not have worked on the equipment you are seeing. They may be a generation behind, but they are running hard. If you will get the same output out of something, why change it?”
Jackson said that away from the machinery it is good for newer workers to find a mentor with experience to learn from.
“Just don’t be out there on your own,” he said. “You need to learn this business as a whole. It is a lucrative career path that a lot of people overlook.”
Jackson was in the second graduating class at TSTC in Marshall in 1994 when he received a certificate in Industrial Maintenance. He liked that he could attend college locally.
“You can graduate from TSTC and go straight to work and understand what the business is about,” Jackson said. “Their programs are designed for the industry. The instructors came out of industry.”
Moody graduated from TSTC in Marshall with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Mechatronics in 2012.
“I liked that hands-on experience prepared me and at least got me familiar with the equipment,” Moody said. “I just applied the theories I learned to the actual real-life situations.”
Moody started as a company floor technician in 2013 before being promoted to his current position. He credits Jackson with being his professional mentor.
“I assist Derrick and the maintenance supervisors with the daily tasks and planned work,” Moody said. “I manage the assets of all our equipment and assist with projects.”
Moody transferred all his TSTC credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management from DeVry University in 2015.
Caraguel said the company recruits college students nationally through its new CSM UP! initiative, putting them to work in their degree fields with other interns, managers and administrators. Video conferencing is used for students to learn from company executives located at other facilities.
For more information on CSM Bakery Solutions, go to csmbakerysolutions.com.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.