Joy on the Manufacturing Floor

Lucille is an engineering manufacturing specialist who embodies and inspires joy on her shop floor. Affectionately known as “Miss Lucy” by her colleagues in Baltimore she is dedicated to advanced aircraft. “It’s a joyful thing,” she says. “Everyone comes together to get jobs done.” Those jobs can be many for Lucille, with her different hats on the manufacturing floor ranging from inspections to grinding steel.

Lucille started working at Northrop Grumman in 1966 (at what was then Westinghouse), building, testing, and delivering products for customers. She finds joy in the whole process, seeing the work from beginning to end. Typically her team is given specifications, drawings and renderings to show what the product should look like and do. But there have been times when Lucille has created from scratch. One example was when a console build was needed as a contract requirement. “Typically we are given a rendering, but not this time, she says. “I was able to build the first console that would then be used as an example for others.” Lucille’s determination to build the console with the support of her team resulted in a contract win for Northrop Grumman. 

Passing on that determination and manufacturing skill to new team members is something else that brings joy to Lucille. She’s seen new team members come out of school not having hands-on manufacturing experience, but is always quick to support them. “It is important to show people how to do something the right way and on time,” she says. “If someone has questions and doesn’t understand something, there are always people on the floor to help.”

That spirit of togetherness has fostered a sense of family on the manufacturing floor, which also brings joy to Lucille. “It is the same family feel now as it was in 1966,” she says. “When it comes down to it, we were a family and we still are.” She recalls throwing many celebrations for colleagues and their families and bringing in doughnuts for her team on Fridays. But whether it’s a celebration or someone needing a part of a tool or a fix, Lucille is there to help get the job done.

“It is the same family feel now as it was in 1966. When it comes down to it, we were a family and we still are.”

Lucille, Engineering Manufacturing Specialist

Her talent for fixing has extended outside the workplace to bring her joy. The many years of working in manufacturing have turned her into a do-it-yourself savant. “If something comes with blueprints, I can build almost anything,” she says. “I now know how to lay carpet in my house and tile. I’ve learned to work on my house and can fix almost anything that breaks down.”

But whether it’s in her home or on the manufacturing floor, that joy in Lucille radiates in all that she does. “I have been working with the company for over 55 years and am still motivated every day to come to work. Northrop Grumman has been a blessing to me. I enjoy the work that I do and the team that I work with. We are a family and we get the job done.”

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