Coming from a long line of Ford employees among his family, Daniel Martin, Material Planning Specialist (MPS) in MP&L recognized the value of learning and the historical significance of working for Ford Motor Company from an early age. His grandfather worked as an electrician for years at the Rouge facility in Michigan where he actually had the experience of shaking the hand of Henry Ford, a family tale that Daniel holds dear.
His mother, Dorothy Martin, who currently works in the Incoming Quality Department and has 41 years of service also started her career at the Rouge and transferred to Kansas City Assembly Plant (KCAP) early in her career. After moving to Kansas City, Dorothy enrolled in the tuition assistance program to pursue her education where she earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Social Psychology.
“When I was a child, I remember my mother working hard on her education,” he said. “I was just a kid, tagging along, but she would be working on computer classes down in the ‘tunnel’ and I would sit and watch her while she studied. That is truly what inspired me to seek higher education.”
Last Spring, Daniel received his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri – Rolla S&T through the Salaried Tuition Assistance Program (STAP). He was already in the midst of pursuing the degree when he attended a job fair at the college where Ford representatives were present. He then began working for Ford at the KCAP facility, signing up for the STAP to assist with his educational journey.
“At first, I was very busy during the Transit launch, so it was only a few hours that I could handle at a time,” he said. “However, I kept after it in order to chisel away at it, no matter how long it took. My mom always emphasized the importance of education to me. I realized as I got older, just how hard she worked as a single mom. I witnessed first-hand the sacrifices she made to work at Ford and seek her education with such dedication. It really made an impression on me.”
One point of certainty is Martin never gets tired of learning and boosting his knowledge. Moving forward, he is potentially considering going after his PhD. “At graduation, I recall hearing other graduates being presented with a ‘Dr. So &So’, and I thought to myself, that sounds like something I might want to do too,” he said.
Dan says his mother is glad he sought his education and proudly displays his graduation pictures in her office. “She likes to show it off,” he said. “Maybe one day in the future, she’ll have a picture of me in the funny Doctor’s cap.” Until then, Dan says that ‘continuous improvement’ will always be a principle that his family regards as a way of life.