Employee Spotlight : Cierra Johnston

Sep. 14, 2021

Cierra is a woman empowered and has a can-do attitude like no one else. She may seem all business, but after a bit of conversation, you know she is also all heart. Cierra came to Mellott with over eight years of CNC machine experience when she applied for a welding position. She also had years of experience with heavy labor as she grew up on a farm. From the time she was knee high to a grasshopper, she was tossing bales of hay almost as big as she was. She said, “As soon as I could pick up a five-gallon bucket and go, I was carrying five gallons of water and feed for the animals on the farm” So, Cierra has been doing what most people would classify as a “man’s” job for many years and she has rocked it! Cierra reflected “I am more comfortable with “men’s” jobs. I also like to prove them wrong. When they say you can’t do that, you’re a woman, I do it. It may take me longer, but I do it”.

Stick welding was her first experience with welding, as mig welders were just starting to come out. “I grew up on the old stick weld and did welding and woodworking in high school”, Cierra remembered. She also would work with her grandmother painting and renovating the local schools through the summer, getting them ready for the upcoming school year. Cierra worked at JLG, assembling machines, and performed mechanic work on the machines as well. When she found out that Mellott was hiring, she was looking for a change to first shift work, but was concerned she might not be hired because she was a woman. Cierra recalled, “When I did the walk around during my interview, I noticed that there were no other females on the floor. That happened at my last job as well, I was the first female on the floor. So, not my first rodeo and I thought, OK I can handle it”. Cierra did more than just handle it, she crushed it!

The favorite part of the job for Cierra is running the machines and working with the guys and figuring out problems as a team. “I like that little bit of a challenge once in a while.” She takes great pride in doing it right and making a great product. She has had her hands on everything from MC300s to bins and platforms. “We do it all” she said.

Somehow Cierra makes juggling work and home life with two very energetic and creative boys look easy. Her boys are 13 and 10 and they love dirt bikes, building things and waking their mom up at 1:00 AM asking “Mom, where’s the handsaw?” She takes it all in stride and encourages her boys to do what they love but clean up afterwards. She does not have a lot of free time as her boys keep her very busy with soccer, baseball, wrestling and showing animals at the fair. Along with all the sports for her boys she is also working on her barn and taking care of all her animals at home. Cierra has no idea what the word relax means.

Cierra accepts every challenge in life and faces it with strength and has been leading the way for other women to enter this primarily men’s career field for most of her life. She is a true rockstar and here at Mellott we could not be happier about the fact that she works for us and not the competition, because it’s not every day you get to work along side a mover and a shaker like Cierra.

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