An IDEAL Workplace: Cody Kyle’s Welding Journey



Introducing Cody

Cody Kyle has worked at Greenbrier’s GRS shop in Omaha, Nebraska, for two years. In his position as a welder, he appreciates the transparency and integrity provided by his colleagues. Cody learned early in his career that Respect for People, inclusivity and trust are qualities he values in a workplace. Before starting at Greenbrier, Cody managed a pawnshop where employee treatment was not prioritized. At the pawnshop, performance reviews and discussions with upper management were hard to come by, which was a challenge for someone like Cody, who is driven and eager to grow in his position.

“I loved helping people, but I did not like the way I was treated at the pawnshop. Before working at Greenbrier, I worked in multiple fields. Through my experiences, I learned that I like to do different things and work with different people. My parents instilled me with a good work ethic, so regardless of what I am doing, I give it my all.”

New Beginnings

After three years of working six or seven days a week at the pawnshop, Cody connected with a friend who worked at Greenbrier’s Omaha repair facility. He was unsure if Greenbrier would hire him since he had no prior welding or manufacturing experience. However, thanks to Omaha’s 30-day weld administrator program, existing welding knowledge was not necessary. Cody started on his new path at Greenbrier a few short weeks later. As it turned out, Cody was a quick study and had a knack for welding. While other places might not be open to individuals without experience, the shop’s dedication to inclusivity gave Cody a chance to start on a new path and learn a new skill.

“I would like to start by commending Cody for his efforts in joining the team with no experience in the field and making the most of his time here with Greenbrier. He has taken each opportunity provided and always holds up his end of the deal. By no means is it easy to enter with no prior welding knowledge and jump into a production setting, keeping up with long-term employees, but Cody is always willing to take on a new challenge,” said Tom Hannon, Regional Quality Manager for GRS Repair.

“Cody is a person that gives 120% every day, no matter what is going on,” said Ron Howard, Plant Superintendent.

After participating in onboarding and initial training, new hires at GRS are paired with long-term employees. This is one of the processes Cody appreciated the most. Each person he partnered with was always welcoming and willing to teach him new skills. They answered questions and were patient as he got the hang of the job. The most important part for Cody is the trusting relationships built with his colleagues, supervisors and management. He specified, “trust means if the shop says they’ll do something, they will follow through. It is nice to know your supervisors are looking out for you and have your best interest in mind.”

An IDEAL Workplace

To Cody, IDEAL means, “Everybody gets treated the same and all types of people are welcome. Being receptive of all knowledge levels.” He believes it is essential to foster IDEAL at work to ensure the good employees are not turned away based on a particular bias or stereotype.

Cody appreciates the way that knowledge about IDEAL is shared across the company. Particularly at the Omaha facility, leaders take time to teach and support their teams. “The guys that have been in the industry for a substantial amount of time position themselves to teach the newer guys with less knowledge. I am grateful that my supervisors put their trust in me. I’m also thankful for Tom Hannon, Ron Howard and my wife for always giving me the confidence to push ahead and work harder to reach my goals.”

Over the years, many employees started working at Greenbrier with no prior knowledge of manufacturing or railcars. Lifelong careers followed. As a dedicated and forward-thinking employee, Cody understands this concept and expresses that “moving up is the long-term goal.”

The GRS management team sees huge potential in Cody, including his site manager, Tom. “We all have hardships outside of work, and Cody is no exception. He continues to be safe and stay on task no matter what he faces outside of work. This young man is a very valuable asset to the team. We look forward to the future and watching him grow as an individual.”

Thank you, Cody, for your dedication to Greenbrier!