This is My Story.
This is My Story.
Watch Alfredo’s Video
“My grandmother always told me, ‘If you want something in life, you have to work hard to achieve it.’”
Growing up in the coastal town of San Jeronimito, Mexico, where much of the economy was based on the tourism industry, Alfredo Bermudez always thought he would work in hospitality. In fact, his first job when he was 11, was delivering baked goods to nearby restaurants and hotels.
His grandmother, who raised him from the age of three, helped him find the job. She believed in the value of hard work and always tried to impress upon her grandson that if he wanted to have a good life he would have to work hard for it. Bermudez took that advice to heart. He worked at the bakery for nearly three years, which he said was, “…not so bad because I ate as many sweets as I wanted!”
Then in high school, he found a part-time position working in a water bottling plant. It was a small operation with few opportunities for career advancement. So after graduation, he decided to go into hospitality, as he always thought he would. He started working as a janitor at a hotel, but was moved into an assistant bartender position within a few months. Bermudez enjoyed the work, but since the position was seasonal, he quickly realized he needed a career with more stability.
“At that age, I was looking for adventures!”
Bermudez had a friend who left San Jeronimito and found a job working for U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co. in Augusta, Georgia. He told Bermudez that there was a position available at the plant if he was willing to make the move. Bermudez was in his early 20s and was ready for an adventure.
He made the move and took the “clean up” job in the pasting department. He said, “Everything about Augusta was different…but good!” He loved the change of the seasons (which he had never experienced before) and having access to so many shops and restaurants. His work was messy, but steady, and he worked to consistently exceed his co-workers’ expectations.
“I never pursued a title, I just worked hard and they started to offer me promotions.”
Within a matter of months, his supervisors noticed Bermudez’s commitment and offered him a promotion. “I never set out to earn a promotion,” Bermudez said. “I just worked hard and it came.”
In fact, he continued to take this approach, and the promotions continued. He has worked in eight different positions throughout the plant and is now the plant supervisor. In his current position, he meets with all of the different departments each morning to receive updates, help them through challenges, keep orders on track, and facilitate communication throughout the plant.
“Working with a lot of different personalities can be overwhelming, so I focus on figuring out how to bring people together.”
Bermudez doesn’t take communication lightly. He studies it and works at it, just as he did when learning other skills at the plant. His first language was Spanish, but when he moved to Augusta, he took night classes and taught himself to speak English, so that he could not only better understand his supervisors, but could translate for others, as well.
Bruce Eaton, the quality manager at U.S. Battery who has worked with Bermudez for more than14 years said, “He strives to understand people and to really fully comprehend every conversation and interaction. He takes initiative in everything he does, which really makes him stand out.”
“If you have a positive attitude and invest the time, you can grow.”
In January 2017, Bermudez will have worked for 24 years at U.S. Battery. “When I first started, there were only about 50 people working at my plant,” Bermudez said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth…now we have almost 300 people working in two plants!”
He enjoys the many different challenges and opportunities that he faces each day, working with the various departments throughout the plant. Having worked in many different positions, he has a unique perspective that allows him to deeply understand the process and the people.
“Now I try to pass my grandmother’s work ethic on to my children.”
Asked what he would tell others who may be interested in manufacturing, Alfredo responded with his own version of his grandmother’s advice that he said he now tries to pass along to his three children. His philosophy is that working in manufacturing or any job can be fun if you do these three things:
- “Pay your dues” or be willing to do your best and prove your worth.
- Keep a positive attitude.
- Take full advantage of every opportunity.
“I’ve invested many years of my life to this company and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They really know me here.”
In today’s changing work culture, a 20-year career at one company can be rare, but Bermudez is happy that he has spent so much time at U.S. Battery. He said that over the years, he has really learned to better understand the organization and feels a lot of loyalty to the company that has been such a big part of his life. It has allowed him to experience adventure, build a career, provide for his family, and continue learning.
About U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co.
U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co. has been building flooded lead acid batteries since 1926. It is an industry leader in manufacturing deep-cycle batteries for solar power systems, golf and utility vehicles, and many other applications. The company operates two plants in Georgia, one in Evans and the other in Augusta. Together they employ nearly 300 people.