Whether it’s a layoff or a blinding snowstorm at 6,000 feet, Joyson Safety System’s Scott Bernhardt is known for finding his way. The 25-year Mission Ridge ski patroller navigated his career on both sides of the cascades, but ultimately ended up in his hometown of Moses Lake, working for Joyson Safety Systems.
Joyson manufactures automobile safety equipment and technology such as: airbags, seatbelts, steering wheels, etc.
Joyson Safety System’s Moses Lake production facility employs Scott as it’s quality manager. Scott says he leads a “talented” team that oversees and supports raw materials that come through the door as they transition into becoming components of the final products. Scott’s profession also involves management of improvement responsibilities for the plant.
“I am responsible for reporting our metrics for the plant as related to scrap rates and customer complaints, and aligning our plant quality related goals and procedures with the more regional and global requirements of Joyson Safety Systems (JSS). I’m also responsible for managing our continuous improvement programs and aligning them with our regional requirements. As part of that, I also track our continuous improvement effectiveness.”
It’s safe to say that Scott is ‘taking care of business’ in the town he grew up in. Scott graduated from Moses Lake High School in 1995. After graduation, Scott immediately ventured westward and became a mechanical engineering student at the University of Washington. After graduating from UW, Scott became a draftsman for a company in western Washington that made structural and architectural steel. After proving himself, Scott was recruited by a large-scale construction contractor as their field engineer and ended up working on the I-90 off-ramp project near Safeco Field. However, the pendulum of progress swung in the wrong direction when the economy took a hit, resulting in him being laid off.
Despite the hardship of being out of work, Scott made the most of a shaky situation by going back to the UW to earn his Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Scott’s fateful decision to advance his education resulted in an opportunity to further his career in the town he left after high school.
“I did some consulting while attending school for my masters and continued consulting after finishing my degree when a friend called me about an engineering position available with his employer, Takata, here in Moses Lake. I had wanted to move back to the Moses Lake area and accepted a position with Takata as a continuous improvement (CI) engineer.”
15 years later, Scott is still with Joyson and was promoted from Project Manager to Quality Manager in May 2020.
“In that time, I have held the positions of manufacturing engineer, engineering supervisor, project manager, and now quality manager. I enjoy working with the people here. The core team that I work with, I have been working with for most, if not all, of my career here. We end up being like a second family. What I like best about my work, is that I’m not constrained to a repetitive task list. Regardless of the positions I’ve held at this company, I’ve enjoyed the freedom to take on challenges that interest me.”
Scott says he, his colleagues, and his employer share the same mindset ‘putting their all’ into the products they oversee and produce.
“Everyone at Joyson is tasked to have a quality first mindset. The role of my team and I is pivotal in that we are the “primary shareholders” in the task to make sure nothing less than a high-quality product is shipped to our customers. We do that by embracing and promoting a quality and continuous improvement mind set. We harbor the voice of our customers.”
Scott expressed his appreciation for his company and its ability to recruit the right people for the job with competitive pay and benefits. And because of higher quality of life his employer helps foster, he’s able to stay where he was raised.
“I love our generally sunny and precipitation free climate. I love getting out on the lake with family and friends. I love to ski, so being reasonably close to the mountains is great. I also love our central location that gives us reasonably quick access to a selection of larger cities.”
Being near Mission Ridge allows Scott to do what he loves on the slopes of Mission Ridge while regularly performing acts of heroism as a member of the mountain’s ski patrol unit.