Give Your Career A Lift – Veteran Tina Fontanini Is Invested

Crown Equipment Corporation  |  Give Your Career a Lift  |

Published in the July/August 2013 issue of print Search & Employ®  | 

Tina Fontanini works as a buyer/planner in the purchasing department of Crown Equipment Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of industrial lift trucks headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio. She had spent nearly nine years in the Army before separating as a sergeant. She was the senior administrative assistant to a chief executive officer and a member of an airborne unit. She is also a veteran of Operation Desert Storm (1991).

Fontanini joined Crown in 2005, and moved into her current position just over two years later. “I was given plenty of training opportunities within Crown,” she said. “The opportunities helped me to advance within the organization. Crown invests in their people.”

She credits the military with helping to get her where she is today. “The military offered me the training I needed for my civilian opportunities,” she said. “I entered my AIT [Advanced Individualized Training] as a 71L [administrative specialist] and was given the opportunity after that to attend 71C [executive administrative assistant] training. Also, the military kept me up to date with the latest technological advancements, which prepared me with skills I could use in the civilian sector.”

But her time in the Army also gave her much more than technical training. “The military taught me confidence and how to work with people from all different backgrounds,” Fontanini said. “I developed a respectful attitude for all individuals in knowing that everyone has a contribution to make, and I also learned the discipline needed to work within a team.”

She also believes that veterans will find a home at Crown. “They gave me an opportunity – not everybody would,” she said. “Coworkers are very respectful of military veterans – not just the managers. I really enjoy my job, but it is the people that keep me here. It is a respectful working environment with plenty of training opportunities that help you with career opportunities within Crown.”

Fontanini believes that networking is key for servicemembers looking for civilian jobs. “My advice for men and women leaving the military is to keep an open mind and network with others,” she said. “Reach out for help in translating your military skills and how to interview in civilian life. Use the resources and network systems provided. There is a lot out there available at no cost. Attend career events to learn about different companies and what they do. Take advantage of your educational benefits. Use your support network of family and friends to help you review your goals to get started. This is a wonderful time to reinvent yourself and find your niche in life.”

As for finding work at Crown, Fontanini believes veterans should play to their strengths. “When exploring opportunities within Crown, be sure to highlight as many skills as you can so we can gain a full understanding of your strengths and where they will fit best within the organization,” she said. “We utilize the knowledge of our veteran employees to find transferable skills within the various departments at Crown, and the better of an understanding we have of your skill set, the easier it will be to find the right fit within our organization.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers