Neapco Notables | Tim Walker, HR Training Coordinator
At Neapco, the Human Resources (HR) team plays a crucial role in ensuring each employee is equipped with the necessary tools, resources and training to excel. Whether it’s onboarding new employees, providing support for career development, or managing employee benefits, the HR team at Neapco helps foster a culture of growth and achievement, making Neapco a great place to work.
In this edition of Neapco Notables, we’re highlighting Tim Walker, who joined Neapco in 2015 as an operator. Over time, Tim discovered his passion for helping people and transitioned to an HR training coordinator. Today, he plays a vital role in ensuring that employees succeed in their positions.
Tim walks us through his background, past professional experiences, what he values most about Neapco, and much more.
How have your previous experiences prepared you for your role today?
After graduating from Westland Christian Academy in 2003, I started working at a plastic packaging manufacturer as a production technician to help support my younger siblings. As an older brother, my ability to teach and guide others helped me develop my natural talent for training people in various concepts and ideas. I also learned having patience is crucial, especially when conducting one-on-one training sessions, as everyone learns differently and at their own pace. My wife often tells me I have more patience than anyone she’s ever met.
After nearly six years of working on the plant floor, I transitioned to production supervision. In that role, I was able to leverage my training skills along with my machine troubleshooting and maintenance knowledge to lead our team.
What drew you to Neapco?
Four years into my role as a production supervisor, I decided it was time for a change. Around that same time, a friend of mine was beaming with excitement about his new job at Neapco, inspiring me to apply.
In addition to this, I was also eager to work in the automotive industry. Born and raised in Michigan, I have always had a strong connection to the automotive industry as many of my family members have also worked in the sector. Today, as I was when I first started working at Neapco in 2015, I am immensely proud to say that I work in and contribute to Michigan’s rich history in the automotive industry.
How has your role at Neapco evolved over the years?
When I first joined the Neapco team I held the role of an operator and, over time, I noticed there was an opportunity to develop a more structured training process. I started taking employees under my wing to ensure everyone in my area had an equal understanding of their duties. As time passed, I realized people were starting to take pride in their responsibilities, and it was an incredible feeling to have improved the work culture, even on a small scale.
About a year ago, my boss noticed my passion for teaching and communicating and requested my assistance with the development of a new training program. A lightbulb went off in my head, and I jumped at the opportunity. Although I’ve always envisioned myself growing at Neapco, I never had a clear picture of what that path looked like. But when my boss approached me, I realized that I could play a critical role in introducing the changes I knew were necessary, but on a much larger footprint.
In my current role, I learned how great of an impact an effective training process can have on employee morale. Before implementing the program we have in place now, there was no system to help new hires with onboarding, which I feel had negatively affected employee morale.
What do you enjoy most about working at Neapco?
Being a part of Neapco’s more than 100-year-long story in the automotive industry is an honor for several reasons. The ability to work with multiple teams is something I’ve always enjoyed. Having the opportunity to collaborate with so many hard-working individuals across the company, I am inspired by the passion and dedication they bring to their work. I also enjoy being the first person new hires meet and learn to depend on. It’s rewarding to consistently meet with new team members and ensure they feel welcomed and comfortable in their roles.
However, the thing that I appreciate the most about Neapco is the level of investment the company puts into its people. Almost every person from the group I started with still works here, and we all have personally experienced the growth opportunities that Neapco provides. In addition to the active role I have in building our training program, I have also managed the company’s fantastic apprenticeship program. One young man, for instance, is now becoming an electrician, and the company is paying for his education while still employing him. Seeing the company invest in its employees as they chart a path to achieving their professional goals is something that inspires me each day.
Aside from your current duties, are you involved with any other initiatives at Neapco?
I am a current member of Neapco’s Environmental Health and Safety Committee. Safety has always been a top priority for me. Having worked in the manufacturing industry for several years, I have witnessed several accidents and am committed to preventing them by introducing new safety programs. I also frequently collaborate with the sustainability team, where I often contribute my insights and ideas.
How do you stay busy outside of the office?
During summers, I love traveling to Northern Michigan. As a kid, my family and I would spend our summers in Port Austin, enjoying the little shops and lighthouses. Even today, I continue to take my wife and dog camping each summer to relax and enjoy nature. I also like to catch up with my friends, play video games, or read comic books —I have an unapologetic love for nerdy things.
Interested in joining the Neapco team? Click here to take a look at our open positions.