Local veteran uses military skills on the job

Dave Maffett served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 25 years, retiring as a master sergeant.

His military service took him to Iraq where his unit was deployed from January 2003 to April 2004. Throughout his military career, Maffett also had a civilian job – working at West Pharmaceutical Services in Jersey Shore. These days, he serves as maintenance crew leader, where he manages people and oversees the troubleshooting of industrial machinery.

How has his military experience helped him with his regular job?

“You pick up a lot of leadership skills and communication skills,” he said.

Maffett has worked at the company for 33 years. He’s seen the changes there too. He recalled the days when the company manufactured baby nipples before changing over to make other products. Basically, he’s enjoyed his long service with the company.

“Obviously, it’s just a great company to work for. They are very fair,” he said. “It’s a safe workplace and a great environment. We make pharmaceutical products. It gives you a great feeling to know you are helping others.”

No work day, he said, is like any other.

“That’s what’s nice about it,” he said. “There’s never a dull moment.”

The company, as required by law, always allowed Maffett time off for his military duties. But it also went one step further – paying him the money he would have earned at the company had he not been away. That came back in his early years with the company, when, as he put it, “I was not making much money.”

“That is not part of any law. They didn’t have to do that,” he said.

Maffett learned his work on the job. As a young man, he went through an apprenticeship. But after all his years with the company, he’s not through with learning.

“I am now attending Penn College and finishing an associate’s degree in electro mechanical technology. I have a few classes left for that. That was for advancement and to help me with my current position as well.”

And the company is funding that education. As a grandfather, married father of three children, including two stepchildren, Maffett needed stability and found it and more with West.

“I have never been laid off. It’s a good business to be in,” he said.

Marcia O’Connor, a company human resources official, said Maffett does a “phenomenal job” for the company. She cited his loyalty, dependability, attention to detail, and respect for other workers.

“We are very, very fortunate to have him with us,” she said.

She said Maffett has helped with recruiting other veterans to the company. About 125 veterans work at West locations nationwide. They include six at the local facility.