Queenie Edwards’ start in the tire industry started with a phone call.
She had just moved to Texarkana, Arkansas and didn’t know anyone, but knew she needed a job. So, she called Cooper Tire & Rubber Co and asked for the Industrial Engineering Manager.
Although the manager said the company didn’t have any openings, Edwards convinced him that she was the right person to start an internship there instead. From there, she was offered a full-time job.
“It was a little bit of chance, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of prayer,” says Edwards, now 25, about the experience.
As an industrial engineer for the company, Edwards focuses on projects involving capacity analyses, completing time studies, calculating potential project savings and other tasks. Since taking the job at Cooper, she said she has loved how the company is people-oriented and truly cares about their employees, which is “an investment that renders a return every time.”
In the future, Edwards expects more automation out of the tire industry.
“Even though robotics is a huge part of the industry today, it will become an even bigger part in the next 10 years,” she says. “With ever-evolving vehicle developments such as electric-powered cars, autonomous vehicle technology, fuel savings, etc. the need for tires that can address the specific and unique needs of those vehicles will, too, need to progress. New, innovative automation will become a bigger staple in this industry.”
To continue her education at Cooper and in the industry, Edwards is involved in Cooper’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training. She also plans to start classes to obtain her M.B.A.
When not at work, Edwards enjoys taekwondo, photography, and cooking. As she continues on her career path, she hopes to land in a leadership role where she is able to “make a substantial impact and cultivate a meaningful difference.”
Fun Fact: When asked what she wished she would have invented, Edwards said, “smartphones – the functionality of literally having the world at your fingertips has been revolutionary. This little device brings people from all over the world together with the tap of a touchscreen. That’s a pretty cool thing to be remembered for!”