August 16, 2022
Encore Wire Corporation Chairman, President, and CEO Daniel Jones has worked in the wire industry since he was a teenager. Jones, who also serves on the NEMA Board of Governors and the Board’s Executive Committee, talked with NEMA about his career and the electroindustry.
How did you get to where you are today?
I got introduced to the company back before it started 33 years ago. I worked at a wire company off and on as a teenager during summers and in between sports. My father was in the wire industry, and my father-in-law was in the wire industry. I was introduced to the two cofounders at Encore right out of college who were going to start this company up. They asked if I wanted to come to work.
I think that I was the third or fourth employee. The company has grown from zero to $3 billion in sales. Having been here the whole time, it’s fun to see.
What will be the biggest change to the electroindustry in the next three years?
Traditional work hours, traditional shifts for the workforce, and traditional benefits, all the things that may be considered how we used to do things, I see all of that changing. I am certain all companies are experiencing changes in staffing their plants where traditionally you may have run three eight-hour shifts in a day, or two twelves, to get all the machines staffed, that is not what we are doing today, and I don’t see us going back to that old situation. We have changed up our traditional shifts and gone with nontraditional staffing, and I think that is something that everybody is going to have to deal with.
You have to be super flexible. You must provide an environment where people want to stay and work and work hard for you.
Also, it will affect everyone differently, but you can’t ignore the influx of investment cash into our industry from the Infrastructure Bill. That’s not insignificant.
More specifically, into the wire side, I think there will be more challenges going forward with the availability of raw materials. The demand and the change in demand for building wire are significant going forward.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in the industry today?
Meet people and invest your time in people. You learned these things growing up. You want to be a good listener. You want to pay attention. Get with folks that you visualize as being successful. The easiest way to encapsulate that is, get advice from everybody but still act on your own instincts. You’re the one responsible. You’re going to have to live with your decisions. Accumulate as much advice as possible but stay true to your values.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
First, family. I have three kids and a son-in-law, and a fantastic wife. I enjoy being around my family. When they get tired of me, I like to play golf and bird hunt. It’s faith, family, and career, and you have to keep it in that order.