Richmond, VA, United States
Field: Industrial Mechanics
Starting his career in 1977 as a mechanic’s helper, Kevin S. Carr has worked his way through the industrial trade industry. He has always loved mechanics and through the help of a friend, he was brought into the field of automation. He has also briefly worked for himself. He currently works for a manufacturing company that provides cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. He enjoys the challenge of working with equipment and machines that require a high amount of detail and finesse. Serving as an industrial mechanic, Mr. Carr is always looking at a problem in order to find the solution.
Mr. Carr has studied mechanical engineering at the Richmond Technical Center and has received Reliability Green Belt Training at Honeywell International Inc. Certified in Roto line and Opti line laser alignment, he has also completed reliability maintenance training. As an industrial mechanic with his current company, he handles production support, and works with machines that package cigarettes, analyzing and correcting any machine issues. He is also entrusted with handling the maintenance of the equipment.
Mr. Carr currently has two patents pending: one for a steerable trailer and the other for a stop stick that will work behind a moving cruiser. He attributes his success to his parents’ support, and those he has worked with, who have recognized and made use of his abilities. Looking ahead, he intends to continue working and advancing in the industry. He would also like to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and work on his own designs.
Conversation with Kevin S. Carr
Worldwide Publishing: On what topics do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Kevin S. Carr: Anything having to do with the industrial trade, especially high-speed rotating equipment.
What characteristics help to separate you from your competitors?
I pay attention to what’s going on around me and to the people who I am working with and the equipment I am working on. I try to learn from the experiences of others, which is [how] you gain your experience. You can learn just as much by people’s accomplishments and superior abilities as by people’s inabilities.
What motivates you?
Looking forward to another beautiful day. I was raised in a religious background so I have an appreciation of waking up to a new day.
What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
Always be safe. In the field of industrial trade, safety is of the utmost importance. You really need to pay attention to the environment around you because there are so many dangers around you.
What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
I have a patent pending for a steerable trailer.
How do you plan to achieve these goals?
I have submitted my idea to the patent office. I am doing market studies.
What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
Dealing with ignorance on the upper management level, and trying to get people to think with an open mind and outside of the box.
What is the most significant issue facing your profession today?
Lack of work – being an industrial tradesman. Around 20 years ago, corporations started moving businesses overseas to try to reduce labor costs and the trade skills seemed to just walk out the door. With the computer industry evolving, the younger generations have learned to work with their thumbs on their keypads versus working with their hands in the trade. So, the job market is not there for skilled tradesmen.
Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession?
I was looking at different things such as the restaurant industry, franchises and photography. My dad, James S. Carr, has been an avid photographer all his life. It was his hobby, and when he lost his job, he turned his hobby into a career and he is now the official photographer for the Virginia Steeplechase Association.
How did you end up working in your current field?
In 1977, I started off as a mechanic’s helper because I needed a job and I enjoyed mechanics. I learned a lot and learned to stress safety. I then worked at Virginia Power and worked for a German firm. I took what I learned and kept applying it to the next job.
What advice can you offer fellow members or others aspiring to work in your industry?
If you’re going to do something, you have to be passionate about it.
Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
My parents, wife and friends, and people who I have dealt with in the industrial trades.
What changes have you observed in your industry/field since you started?
I hope to see the return of the pride in “Made in USA.” It’s been tough to see businesses lose sight in that. We need to take back some patriotism, and pay Americans good wages and benefits.