Growing up in western Pennsylvania, Dana Skovrinskie developed an early fascination with watching how things were built and dreaming of ways that she could improve that process. Her natural talents led her to the University of Pittsburgh to earn a degree in industrial engineering and to the job she always knew she’d have – working in manufacturing.
Her pathway into transportation was a series of happy discoveries. Her position as a co-op at Toyota during her college years sparked her interest in the automotive industry. Right out of college she went to work for General Motors as a production supervisor and discovered a love for working in a fast-paced production environment. In 2006, she moved into construction equipment, enjoying the opportunity to work on big machines and to work on the whole piece of equipment being produced rather than on just one portion, as is common in automobile production.
At the Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) plant in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Dana gets the opportunity to collaborate with co-workers from the inception of the vehicle to the moment it rolls off the line. With design engineering, purchasing, operations and sales all housed in the same location, Volvo CE can be nimble and responsive, another thing Dana enjoys about her job.
Dana’s team is responsible for all processes to build equipment. Right now she is focusing on fabrication, including machining and welding processes. She previously worked in assembly and was able to come up with improved ways to build the equipment in the plant.
That’s Dana’s continuous improvement mindset at work, and it’s something that she and her team keep in mind in everything they do. “Once we start building, we keep improving the process,” she says. Using lean processes, she works to balance the line to build equipment efficiently, using poka-yoke – or error-proofing – to ensure precision in production.
While Dana is passionate about improving processes, she’s equally passionate about developing the people on her team. She’s been a manager for five years, but her nature is always to help those she works with grow and develop, believing it’s better for the whole team. “It’s all about empowerment,” she says of her leadership style. She loves to see an eagerness to learn, willingness to get on the floor and work in her team.
In fact, one of her favorite things about working at Volvo CE is that it’s not as big and specialized as automobile manufacturing, so there are ample opportunities for people to gain more broad experience. As she leads projects, Dana loves assembling a cross-functional team to work together toward a goal. She makes sure everyone is on board and knows where they come in, enabling her to run teams that are more autonomous and agile.
Outside of work, Dana enjoys living with her husband and children in nearby Mechanicsburg, a growing area with lots to do that is also conveniently located, close to Harrisburg with easy access to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New York City.
“I love my job and the people I work with. I am challenged every day,” Dana says. “I love Volvo for the community they provide. I’ve have so many opportunities since I started, with leadership training and the chance to try new things. The plant is our community and I’m proud of that community. People here are able to get things done that seem impossible.”
Employee: Dana Skovrinskie
Position: Industrial Engineering/Mechanical Engineering Manager of Fabrication
Location: Volvo Construction Equipment – Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
With the Volvo Group: Since 2008