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Bosch’s Nick Johnson Says Tri-County Put Him on Path to Success

CONTACT:  LISA GARRETT, lgarrett@tctc.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               10/18/2018

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

ANDERSON --  As Senior Associate Development Specialist at Robert Bosch LLC, Nick Johnson lives for those “aha” experiences in the classroom – those magical light-bulb moments when an associate understands a concept, a skill, a strategy or a new idea.

“You see the look on an individual’s face -- like he or she ‘gets it’ now.  It’s so rewarding. I live for that ‘aha’ moment and later when you can see the difference in an associate’s performance,” said Johnson.

“It’s imperative that employees stay up to speed,” said Johnson, whose job is to implement and manage the assessment, training, evaluation and tracking processes for the 1.300 hourly associates (operators and engineering apprentices) at the Anderson plant. On a daily basis, he is devoted to developing processes and product expertise and tracking the outcomes.

“Bosch values education and training. It’s more than just a piece of paper.  You have to demonstrate and apply those skills to be successful in the workplace. That application is the focus of my training classes,” he said.

As a senior at Westside High School in the late 1980’s, he never dreamed he would be an instructor. 

After graduating, he says he was unsure of a career choice.  At 17 he joined the Marine Reserves and in 1988 joined the Bosch team starting as an operator and later working in the warehouse.   

He served in Desert Storm from 1991 – 92.  The following year, he entered Tri-County Technical College’s General Engineering Technology (GET) program and was accepted into Bosch’s Apprenticeship Program and began working as a production technician at the plant.  “Bosch has a good relationship with Tri-County.  The program was a launching pad for me.  It gave me the technical skills and allowed me to develop technically and professionally.  I was able to integrate the leadership skills I learned from the Marines into the business atmosphere.  I always wanted to go to school and Bosch afforded me the opportunity.  College would have been much different for me without the Apprenticeship Program.  The Tri-County classes did a good job of providing hands-on applications to support the theories.  The faculty gave support outside of class and it made a difference,” he said.

            The Apprenticeship Program’s requirements were high, but the payoff was worth it, said Johnson, who was selected to participate in the prestigious program that provides participants with an opportunity to begin technical training (while still in high school or as a current Bosch associate) and to enjoy career-enhancing benefits.

Back then he received a weekly 40-hour paycheck for 20 hours of work while in the program.  Bosch paid the tuition and all educational expenses for his two years of study.  In addition, he received a Journeyman Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor.  Most importantly, he was guaranteed a position at the Anderson plant.

“It was a way to go to school, to work and to make yourself promotable,” he said.

Which is exactly what he did.

After four years as a production technician, he was named apprentice supervisor/technical trainer in 1998.  “After graduation, I worked all shifts over the entire plant on different lines and received several promotions, including trainer.  “I was honored to become an instructor.  It’s very satisfying to watch students make progress and to become successful.”

After years of teaching, he accepted a position in Central Purchasing where he managed the company’s supply bases for North America for turned parts.  After four years, he is now is back in the classroom he loves.

“I missed training – it’s in my blood.  I missed developing folks and the personal relationships you build.  I just enjoy working with people,” he said.

“Education is the key to success.  It removes barriers but you still have to perform in the position.  It’s about lifelong training,” he said.

In addition to his GET degree, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from South Carolina State University.  Bosch paid for his associate degree as well as his bachelor’s degree.  “I graduated from both colleges with zero loans.  Bosch has a tuition reimbursement program and I took full advantage of it.  The company really makes an effort to develop its people,” said Johnson, who is the first in his family to graduate from college. 

“I graduated from Tri-County in 1994 with honors (cum laude). I still remember that day,” he recalled.  “In high school I hadn’t thought about college and went into the Marines.  But Tri-County put me on a path to success.  It gave me confidence and the skills to achieve professionally.  With that and some drive, you can be successful -- good thing are going to happen.”

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