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Careers on the Rise: Michael Genin

A stint in the Navy set Michael Genin on the right path to a successful career in aviation. Now working as the Director of Operations in Bridgeport, West Virginia, he’s exactly where he wants to be.

When you come from a family of medical professionals, chances are you’re expected to follow the same career path. Not for Michael Genin. Even at a young age, Michael knew he wanted to be part of the aviation industry. His first step was joining the US Navy right after high school where he served on the USS Constellation Aircraft Carrier off Whidbey Island, Washington. 

In one of the most dynamic workplaces on the planet, Michael learned the ropes of being an aircraft mechanic by working on an EA-6B Prowler aircraft and becoming a Plane Captain Mechanic. Inspired by the challenges and fast pace of aviation, Michael came home to Clarksburg after his stint in the Navy and attended Pierpont College where he received his A&P Certificate. From there, Michael's career really took off.

Starting as a Mechanic at a major MRO Service Center, Michael quickly showed potential for taking on more responsibility. “I was a technician on the floor working on a Flexjet and Embraer EMB 120 aircraft,” said Michael. “Within two years, I moved up to Crew Chief. The following year I became a Temporary Operations Supervisor and then a Permanent Supervisor overseeing three different departments. After that, I became Operations and Program Manager of the Service Center.”

When MHIRJ opened its service center in Bridgeport, Michael was promoted to Director of Operations. He had taken virtually every step up the ladder in his career. Like in the Navy, at MHIRJ Michael has job-specific tasks and deadlines. It’s up to his team to get each aircraft ready for its flight. The end game is to deliver the product. The camaraderie is similar too, states Michael. “We’re one machine with multiple working parts. We’ve got each other’s back and always help our teammates no matter the challenge.”

We’re one machine with multiple working parts. We’ve got each other’s back and always help our teammates no matter the challenge.

When asked about the work environment at MHIRJ, Michael instantly makes a connection to his days in the Navy. "It’s a dynamic atmosphere where you have to be on your toes,” said Michael. “You come in and work on engines today, then avionics tomorrow, and the next day something else. It’s not stagnant like an assembly line where you do the same task day after day. There’s always a goal, a mission, and a timeline to meet.” 

In his role as Director of Operations, Michael makes sure that any technician out of school is paired with a mentor for six months to one year to educate them more thoroughly, before they work on their own. Michael pairs a senior technician with each recruit to show them how to do the job the right way from the start. In addition to mentoring, MHIRJ also has an apprenticeship program where young people out of high school who are mechanically minded can come in and get hands-on experience by learning from a mentor. Within 18 months they can get their license. 

Michael also cites travel as another reason to join MHIRJ as employees can work at the company’s other service centers around the country when they require extra hands on deck. “I traveled a lot when I was in the military, and I highly recommend experiencing other places and learning how they work,” said Michael.  

The next best thing about working at the Bridgeport center? Bridgeport itself.  It’s the kind of place you’d want to raise your kids; safe, friendly, sporty, and a rich academic environment to boot. "The outdoor activities are plentiful, especially for people with a love of water like me,” said Michael. "There’s whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing nearby or if you like hiking and biking, we’ve got that too.”