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Melissa Krak

By Steve Yablonski

Office manager, EJ USA

Women hold various positions in the manufacturing field. Manufacturers have come to see that diversity boosts the bottom line, fosters a more dynamic and creative environment, and improves employee morale and retention, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

EJ USA is the global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of access solutions for the world’s growing infrastructure.

“From water and sewer, to drainage, telecommunication and utility projects, EJ has the solution to fit these project’s need,” according to Melissa Krak, office manager of EJ USA, Oswego County Industrial Park in Phoenix.

“The EJ legacy dates back to 1883 when our first manufacturing facility was built in East Jordan, Michigan,” Krak said. “Decades later, we are now a global enterprise that spans six continents — promoting innovation, quality and a commitment to customer service.”

Her current position is the office manager for EJ’s New York branch located in Schroeppel.

“I oversee the inventory we have in our yard, along with all deliveries and incoming shipments,” she said. “I am in charge of our inside sales personnel, CDL delivery drivers and yard operations where we handle all the materials stored for the various construction projects we will be servicing. Our team oversees all the construction projects that are bid throughout New York state and northeastern Pennsylvania.”

 “On a normal day, we send out local trucks that deliver to Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and into northeastern Pennsylvania. We also manage truck loads shipped via common carrier to locations across the USA,” she added. “I also provide customer service by sending quotes, processing orders, tracking shipments and scheduling project deliveries.”

 “When challenges arise, we all work together as a team to provide the best solution for our customer,” she said, referring to sales, engineering and fabrication departments.

She graduated from SUNY Poly in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and with a minor in criminal justice.

“After working that summer as a swim instructor at the Canastota pool and the swim facility manager at William Memorial Beach, I heard about the inside sales position from a family friend and I applied,” she said. “After a couple interviews, I was offered the position.”

With her prior experience in customer service and public relations, Krak said she thought she would be a great asset to the EJ team.

She started with EJ as an inside sales representative in February 2018.

“I was in this position for nearly four years,” she said. “In November 2021, I was promoted to office manager.”

Some of the current challenges her company is dealing with are staffing, regulatory requirements and supply chain issues, she said.

EJ recruits new employees through Indeed, LinkedIn and other recruiting sites.

“We also participate in CiTi P-TECH and local BOCES programs, Krak added. “The involvement ranges from job shadows, internships and hosting engineering challenges.”

The company has more than 90 employees.

“We currently have eight women working in the office and some of those jobs include shipping and receiving clerk, production planning, purchasing, inside sales, and outside sales,” she said.