Laura Gordon, one of Greenville’s newest general managers, is using her willingness to lead and her interest in STEM to make headway in the state’s rising manufacturing space.
The North Wales native took over the head position at Meyer Tool Greenville late last year after following her father’s industry lead and her own abilities to take charge.
Gordon’s father’s job with British Aerospace brought the family to Wichita, Kansas, in 1995 when she was 12.
Gordon’s time on her high school debate team helped sharpen her leadership skills. In 1999, she was named the 1999 Kansas State Debate champion.
“It was probably still on my resume when I applied for the position at Meyer Tool,” Gordon said.
After college, Gordon returned to Wichita and worked at Learjet as a material logistics agent until a work colleague began telling her about his home in Greenville.
“I visited once and just knew I wanted to move here,” she said.
In 2007, Gordon got a job with Trust Technologies and moved to Greenville. Four years later, Gordon was hired as the HR/EHS manager at Watson Engineering.
Gordon worked with Watson Engineering until her mentor, Marsha Madore, the former director of HR at GSP International Airport, suggested an open position at Meyer Tool’s Greenville facility in 2016.
Gordon joined the Meyer Tool team as operations manager until her promotion to general manager last November.
Q&A with Laura Gordon:
UBJ: What is the bulk of your business? Is there a mix of energy/gas turbine and aerospace?
Gordon: Meyer Tool operates in two sectors: aerospace and land-based industrial gas turbines. About three years ago IGT was about 25% of our total business, but after the industry took a downturn due to the strength of renewables (solar, wind, with improved battery technology), along with such growth in aviation, it’s been reduced to approximately 10% now. Meyer Tool Greenville is currently predominantly IGT but is exploring other areas of interest.
UBJ: Which product areas do you see growing the most?
Gordon: Everything Meyer Tool works on is part of the hot section in an engine, land and air. In the interest of curbing fuel costs and improving fuel conservation, airlines are looking to newer technology by upgrading their existing fleet with new engine technology as well as adding new aircraft.
UBJ: What areas of workforce development need improvement in this market? Does Meyer Tool work with local organizations and tech programs to create a pipeline of skilled hands?
Gordon: Simply keeping up with the growth we’re experiencing. We cannot bring in people fast enough. Meyer Tool Greenville is partnered with Greenville Tech, ECPI, and S.C. Works. I recently joined the Machine Tool Technology Advisory Boards for Greenville Tech and ECPI.
In October, Meyer Tool will be participating in Manufacturing Day as a host for high school students to take tours and ask questions – an event put together by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.