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Enersys plant manager credits scouting lessons

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

What he learned through scouting has guided Steve Jones in his career.

Plant manager at Enersy since September, he has been involved in Boy Scouts both as a boy and as an adult as a scoutmaster.

"I really credit the manager I've become today to scouting," Jones said.

Jones participated in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He didn't become an Eagle Scout, but came close.

Jones' 17-year-old son, Kevin, did become an Eagle Scout, when he was 16.

"I'm happy to say my son did get his," Jones said. "I was extremely proud."

Jones' wife, Beth, along with Kevin and 12-year-old daughter Clare remain in Tennessee until their house is sold. Jones, 44, was a plant manager with Rubbermaid Commercial Products in Cleveland, Tenn., until he accepted the position with Enersys four months ago.

Enersys was a good career move for Jones, who has been in management positions for 14 years and has been a plant manager for five years. The Hays battery plant is the largest Jones has been in charge of, both in terms of physical size and number of employees.

Enersys has three shifts on the assembly line, employing approximately 260 production workers.

"I look at that as being a good participating contributing member of the community, that we are providing these positions," Jones said.

In his free time, other than being involved in scouting, Jones enjoys riding his Harley motorcycle (once it arrives in Hays) as well as building and flying radio-controlled airplanes, a hobby he picked up again after 16 years once he took the Hays job.

Jones and his son also like backpacking and camping. His daughter has never been backpacking; that's why she isn't a Brownie.

"She tried the Brownies," Jones said. "However, she didn't like the Brownies because they didn't go camping."

Jones is waiting to put his stamp on the Hays plant, learning about the battery industry as he goes along.

"Being new to the industry, I didn't come in with certain views," he said. "I kept an open mind. ... For me, personally, it's more right now at this point finding out where we're at and how to raise that bar."

Jones knows what management style works best for him.

"I need to understand first before stepping into a situation," Jones said. "I also allow my staff to manage their departments.

"I do not believe in micro-managing," he added. "I understand people make mistakes, as long as they learn from them."

Jones has enjoyed his short time in Hays. And he relishes the opportunity with Enersys, located at 1 Enersys Road.

"I liked the challenge that would be in front of me," Jones said.