Drive the Change You Want to See

Portrait of Ernesto Ramirez

Featured Employee:
Ernesto Ramirez

Job Title: Engineering Manager, Shop Floor Process Execution

Taking no for an answer is not something Ernesto Ramirez does very often.

Although it might take time, Ramirez, engineering manager, Shop Floor Process Execution, Global IT, Torreon, Mexico has learned that a little persistence can eventually develop into impactful results. The journey he has been on for the last five years has taught him that a lot of things are outside of his control, and if he wants things to change, he can either wait around for something to happen, or he can take the first step to drive the change he wants to see. And that is exactly what he has done.

As an IT employee with 25 years of experience, Ramirez has never been more excited for the future of Global IT in Torreon. He has been integral in navigating unique challenges in partnership with Motores John Deere (MJD) leadership to ensure our talent has a facility that can support Global IT growth.

“Over the years, I have developed a very good relationship with local universities and was well aware of the potential for the area,” he said. “I knew that having an attractive office space would drive an increase in employee engagement of our existing teams and promote growth for the future".

So, in 2017, along with José Martinez, Global IT regional manager for Mexico at the time, Ramirez began conversations with facilities on options to address the expected growth. Current office space was close to capacity, and he was convinced that having office space to support the planned growth could also open further possibilities.

“I wanted my teams to have a place, and once we got a place, we would be able to attract more talent and have better engagement. There was a lot of talk, but no one took action,” Ramirez said. “I decided to take things into my own hands to create a place where people wanted to come and work for John Deere, to engage more teams, which means more business. No one from Torreon was doing it, so I had to do it.”

Multiple Obstacles

This facilities project was quite a unique experience for Ramirez requiring him to stretch into areas working with finance, IM&S, real-estate, facilities, security, and legal. It exposed him to new guidelines and protocols, but in the end, he was inspired to work through any obstacle as he believes in the talent of his and the Global IT teams in Torreon.

Ramirez, along with Martinez, socialized the business case to garner additional support across Global IT and John Deere Power Systems, and with his peers, went through the tedious process of forecasting potential growth, properly sizing the investment, and analyzing lease vs. build opportunities.

They also spent months developing documentation to support an AFL and AFE to fund the facility. Then, the world stopped.

The global pandemic in 2020 completely halted the project due to a semi-conductor and container crisis, supply chain delays, and health protocols. But that didn’t stop Ramirez. Although another obstacle, he realized his dream for making the facility a reality would only be delayed, not cancelled.

“Our original plan was that the opening of the facility would only be delayed by six months, but it ended up taking another year,” he said.

Ramirez’s persistence paid off when the facility was finally complete, and employees were able to move into the facility in April of this year. A formal inauguration of the facility was held in May.

The facility houses 230 seats, 12 meetings rooms, six phone booths, two cafeterias, and many collaborative spaces for the teams.

Inspired by family

Ramirez’s attitude of persistence was homegrown, where he was not just inspired by it, but found himself in a position to practice it.

In the 1950’s, Ramirez’s aunt lived in Mexico and wanted to learn French, in France. Once she made it to France, she discovered that she wanted to stay to really embrace the language and learn through immersion. Her father’s attitude was that women should stay home, and he wouldn’t send her any more money to advance her study. So, she discovered a scholarship program that would allow her to remain in France and continue her education. She didn’t return to Mexico for five years.

His aunt’s passion and persistence inspired him, and he carried that with him throughout his school years.

When he was in college, Ramirez and his classmates really felt that they could learn from people in the industries they were pursuing, but they had no exposure to them. So, they took it upon themselves to invite businesspeople to come to the university to talk with the students about their industry experience and what it would be like for the students entering the workforce.

Over 200 people from other local universities also came to the event to gain that real-world perspective. Ramirez realized that it wasn’t just a want for him and his classmates, but a need for other students.

“It was never done before, and taking that leap can be difficult, but it was worth it,” he said

Persistence takes preparation

Although Ramirez admits that persistence pays off, he added that you have to be prepared when taking a risk.

“Listen to the leaders and understand why they might be saying no. Discover the obstacles and do what you can to remove them, and then ask again,” he said. “Be prepared to get no for an answer, but then listen and adjust. If you believe in your cause, learn, and keep adjusting. That is the only way to move forward.”

Ready to Make a Difference?

See Our Job Openings