Your Stories

70 Years with the Oshkosh Family by Clarence "Inky" Jungwirth

Friday, February 10, 2017

I came home the Friday before Labor Day of 1945 and the first thing I did was register for the draft and then that Friday, I went to the unemployment office in Oshkosh to look for a job. They gave me a ticket for Oshkosh Truck and I didn’t know what that was. I interviewed later that day was asked if I knew anything about engineering or reading drawings.  The job was to operate the blueprint machine. The pay was $100/month. At the age of 49, the most beautiful woman in the world came into the engineering department and I was going to be her boss. I thought I was going to be a bachelor for life. I became married at the age of 51.  My wife retired in 1986 and I kept working because I’m a workaholic. As long as they kept me busy, I’d keep working. After I finally retired, I laid around for a couple months and I started to look for another job. In March or April, I got a call. The service department was growing but they were having problems and the engineering department was also growing significantly.   In March or April of 1988 they asked “how would you like to come back?” and I had already been looking for jobs.  29 years later, here I am. There are about 50,000-60,000 old Oshkosh trucks in the field. The oldest is a 1937 in Colorado. My job is to keep those old trucks going. Keep in mind that I’m 97 years old and I can still remember part numbers from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I deal with customers all over the United States and world and their opinion of Oshkosh is unbelievable quality.

Tell us your Oshkosh Story. Your story is our lasting reminder of our shared history, it is because of the perseverance and strength of people that we have reached this incredible milestone.
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  • I want to be in Human Resources...is anyone listening?

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Written by Amber


    Early in my college life I had figured out my career choice. I was destined to go on for my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and then my PhD to work in a hospital as a Psychologist. While I was finishing up my Bachelor’s degree I was working part time at Schneider National in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Once I graduated, they offered me a full time job, so I took it while I went on for my Master’s degree. As I was nearing the completion of that degree, I started to realize that I really enjoyed the business world, and was no longer sure a clinical route was the right path for me. I wanted very badly to use my education and psychology background, so I started to think a job in Human Resources was the way to go. Of course, since my schooling was not geared towards an HR specification, I was told that I did not have the required experience. I worked for 5 years at Schneider with no option to move in to an HR role, so I opted to use the background I had acquired, Logistics and Supply Chain, and moved in to a role at GENCO, a third party logistics provider also in Green Bay. After I was there for some time I again expressed a desire to move in to an HR position. Here I was able to interview for an HR position that had opened up, but sadly they chose someone from outside the organization that had more experience. By this time I had relocated to the Fox Valley area and the commute to Green Bay was taking its toll, so I began my job search for companies closer to me. I came across a role for a Logistics Analyst with Oshkosh Corporation, and thought this would be an opportunity to work for a great company that I was very familiar with, using the skills I had acquired through previous positions. I applied and was successful! After about seven months, my manager and I were having a one on one meeting, and he asked what I wanted to do long term. I told him that I really wanted to work in Human Resources and held my breath. He looked at me for a beat, and said, “OK, well let’s talk about what we can do to get you there.”

    From there he helped me in scheduling sit-ins with HR team members, and I became involved in helping our Campus Relations team, recruiting at the career fairs. When a position in HR became available I applied….and was selected! Oshkosh Corporation is the first company that saw something in me and gave me an opportunity that no other company did, and I am now in a position that I bring my head, hands, and heart to every day. When candidates ask me about the growth potential and advancement opportunities here at Oshkosh Corporation, I tell them my story. 

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    The Oshkosh Corporation Family is More than a "Work Family"

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    Written By Chad

    Traditionally, the saying goes: you shouldn’t work with family. This rings true for many, but at Oshkosh Corporation, it’s different. Quite frankly, you’re not left with much of a choice because once you become a team member, you are part of the family. While my time at Oshkosh Corporation is filled with lots of examples of how the Oshkosh Family has impacted me, I will discuss the most prominent ones.

    First, I work for a company that challenges all of us to be Making a Difference in people’s lives. Like the rest of our team members, I have great pride in our products, but it’s so much more than that. We are all asked to make a difference by being flexible to different schedules, helping those less fortunate, empowering others to do the right thing and encouraging one another to follow their passion. Because of this, I’ve had the opportunity to make nearly all of my son’s doctor appointments (truly people first), assist Riverview Gardens in their sustainability efforts, donate money from the Oshkosh Foundation to a worthy cause and pursue my dream of becoming a Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer.

    Second, our senior leadership sets the right tone. Every company says the right things about leadership, but I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that walks-the-walk. I’m not only talking about doing the right thing (that’s expected), but leaders who genuinely care for their teams. For instance, Our president and CEO Wilson Jones has shown me that learning the little things about people can make a big difference, Marek has shown me the value of transparency and Ignacio has taught me to believe in myself. Ignacio has challenged me to really understand and partner with the business, connect with our community and be a leader. To this, I now attend Quarterly Ops Reviews, included volunteering as part of my TAMS goals and mentor/take a more active role in leading others. These experiences have benefitted me as much personally as professionally.

    Finally, I’m honored that I have the opportunity to support our team members around the globe. It’s been a great experience to travel the world and train team members on ethics and compliance throughout Europe, Asia and Mexico. I’ve learned that regardless of location, people want to do the right thing. The most impactful part of traveling is learning about the culture and how that influences the way they do business. I have developed a greater appreciation for their challenges and the importance of providing the tools for them to succeed. Traveling has also taught me how much our international team members accommodate our schedules, and so I’ve done my best to make their lives easier by holding meetings at more convenient times and being a better host. Despite being far from headquarters, they all have the same passion for the company.

     In conclusion, Oshkosh has brought so much to me, both personally and professionally. I look forward to continue making a difference and growing with my Oshkosh Family.

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    From 0 to 100, MOVE-ing to a People First Culture

    Friday, January 01, 2016

    Written By Chris

    James Sinegal, former CEO of Costco, once said, "It doesn't do much good to have a quality image, whether it's with the facility or whether it's with the merchandise, if you don't have real quality people taking care of your customers.”  Since the founding of our company 100 years ago, w’ve been successful as a result of innovative products, great customers, strategic acquisitions, but most of all, our people, who make a difference for both their internal and external customers every day.  Our people, making a difference, are what make our company successful – and a great place to work.  There are many reasons why our people are the true differentiatior; three key areas of focus are career development, family, and servant leadership. I’ve been fortunate to be part of Oshkosh for a small ripple of the time it’s been in business.  I’ve been part of our Defense Segment, both on the shop floor as well as in Aftermarket, and have also spent time in our Quality and Continuous Improvement department.  My career here has been amazing and varied; from learning how a union contract works to recruiting field service representatives to serve in Afghanistan, from understanding system settings driving our inventory to helping mentor and support continuous improvement events, I’ve enjoyed both career and personal growth in many different areas.  The impact of these varied experiences has made a difference in my life.  These experiences have served to help me build valuable relationships with team members throughout many of our different segments and functions, utilize our education reimbursement policy to obtain my Master’s Degree, and continue to broaden my ability to tackle challenges head-on. Our company also has a wonderful focus on family first.  Everyone here has had a major life event that they’ve had to endure while at work.  My personal examples include support from my leaders, peers, team members, and even folks outside of my immediate team who have been there when I’ve been dealing with a death in the family, or when our son had to go through surgery.  The phrase “Family comes first; always” has been uttered more than once, truly embodying People First and the Oshkosh Way. Finally, the focus of our team on servant leadership is apparent, even if we don’t necessarily call it that.  Our leaders at all levels have a mindset of putting their team ahead of themselves, and take comfort in the belief that if they truly support their teams, success will be the output.  From leaders who have personally encouraged me to take a risk, or supported a tough decision I made, or invited me to assist with helping to lead the direction of our department, I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of servant leaders through my time here. In summary, I’m humbled and honored to be a small part of this company as we celebrate our 100 year anniversary and continue to make a difference in people’s lives.

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    My Oshkosh Family

    Friday, January 01, 2016

    Written by Gena

    When when you depart college it can be a harsh reality to envision yourself now in the real world. I had the great opportunity to join Oshkosh Corporation 16 years ago when online job searches weren't available and job openings were located by word of mouth or by employment advertisements found in the newspaper. I had worked as a Chiropractic assistant for three years prior to onboarding at Oshkosh as an Executive Assistant. We had a close group at the office and the three of the doctors I supported were like family. However, I felt as if I wasn't challenged there and wasn't utilizing the skills learned from college, so it prompted me to make a move. I didn't know it at the time but taking the leap to work at Oshkosh Corporation moved me from one family to another that has supported me through many career and life challenges. I have worked with many great mentors over the years. The Executive Assistants that onboarded me taught me the skills I needed to become a successful Executive Assistant. I have also worked with three CEO's in the Company, each with a different type of leadership style. Bob Bohn was inspiring and taught me that the relationships that you form within all levels in the organization regardless of title are needed to get people moving for you and with you. Charlie Szews was focused on achieving the best bottom line for our shareholders. He taught me the importance of knowing our internal and external customer needs to increase our ability as a company to MOVE. Wilson Jones is the third great leader focused on people and making a difference not only at Oshkosh Corporation but in the communities where we work and live. He has introduced more flexibility in our work life, so we can be the best at work and at home. My Oshkosh family also includes the many Executives I have supported. They taught me that I am a strong person, and that Oshkosh Corporation has many roles I can play within it. Career focused roles such as the Small Business Liaison Manager Role and currently the Travel and Fleet Manager Role to other roles on the UW Oshkosh Intern Recruiting Team and participating in the Oshkosh Women's Network. Oshkosh also supported my family through my husband's two tours as a soldier; one to Kuwait and the other to Afghanistan. How does an army wife move forward when her soldier is away? Have a work family that keeps you grounded, builds you up when you need inspiration and pitches in when you need your lawn mowed.

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  • Oshkosh Corporation Family: Not Just a Number by Jaime

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Written by Jaime

    To me, family means a lot more than a relative by blood or marriage. It means the people who accept you no matter who you are, the people who you can count on, and the people who provide a support system. I’ve had the privilege to be part of the Oshkosh family for 6 years, and throughout my journey that family has been there for me through some of the highest and lowest points in my life.  I started my journey with Oshkosh in the Defense segment supporting the MATV as a new college graduate. I had my doubts about how I would be treated at such a large corporation; I had the fear of just being a number. My peers and leadership welcomed me with open arms and instantly made me feel part of the Oshkosh team. Overtime, these relationships became more than just coworkers; they became the family that I would celebrate birthdays with, that family that would dog sit when I was traveling, and the family I would call when in a time of need. As I progressed through my career at Oshkosh I was blessed with the opportunity to work as an expat in Japan. I was excited, but nervous as this was going to be my first time living abroad. When I arrived in Japan I felt very lonely and homesick. I missed my family, friends, and comforts of home more than I could ever imagine. I struggled to get through every day as all I could think about was how much I missed my life in Wisconsin. At one of my lowest points during my time abroad, I was walking to my car after a long day of work and something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention; it was an MATV. I walked up to the truck and traced the Oshkosh logo with my fingers tips. This MATV was more than a truck; it was a reminder that my Oshkosh family is there to support me no matter where I was in the world. This reminder of home and my Oshkosh family changed my whole perspective of being abroad. As I completed my time in Japan, I was fortunate enough to take an opportunity within the Fire and Emergency segment. Again, I was welcomed with open arms and my Oshkosh family continued to grow. In my role I was fortunate enough to work with firefighters and other customers from all over the country. After hearing their stories and how Oshkosh products had an impact on their everyday life, I realized that my Oshkosh family extends beyond just my coworkers, but to the firefighters, warfighters, construction workers, and others that depend on the Oshkosh product. The Oshkosh family is a strong network of passionate people dedicated to keeping their communities safe while fostering innovation to create the best products in the industry. I am honored to be part of the Oshkosh family and privileged to carry on a 100 year tradition.  

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