Autumn Patocka
Behlen Mfg. Co.
Columbus, NE

"As a maintenance electrician, you must be ready for new challenges -- from changing a light bulb, to 10 minutes later troubleshooting a million dollar machine. Each challenge brings its own set of rewards. There is no better feeling of accomplishment than solving the problem and getting the machine back online.”

Autumn’s dedication to her work recently helped provide the foundation for a new piece of capital equipment. Her role as an electrician for the maintenance team at Behlen gave Autumn first-hand knowledge of the amount of money wasted on outdated equipment. Autumn began to keep track of the number of hours spent, along with the repair costs. Her data collection helped provide the management team with the information to make a capital investment in new machinery and partner with the vendor (Komatsu) to provide a return on investment in the capital equipment of less than 1.3 years. 
Autumn spent her early years at Behlen running the tubemill for the Behlen Country business unit. A PLC Course at Behlen sparked Autumn’s interest in electronics, and over the course of the next several years, she progressed from an Apprentice Electrician to obtaining her Contractor’s License. In 2011, she graduated with her Associate’s Degree in Industrial Technology-Mechatronics from a local community college. Autumn now serves on the Advisory Council for this college, helping shape the direction of instructions for students in the future. 
Autumn’s work is her canvas. A self-taught artist, Autumn has created countless pieces of art, and she says that her passion for art translates into her work as an electrician; every new schematic is a blank canvas.  Her commitment to continuous learning and ongoing improvement has made her a role model in the company.

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