Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Top 10 Under 40 2023: Meet Justin Mladenoski, controls engineer at Reko Automation Division

July 31, 2023
By Sukanya Ray Ghosh

Manufacturing AUTOMATION’s second annual Top 10 Under 40 highlights the next generation of leaders who have demonstrated exemplary work ethic. They are leading the charge in their workspaces and inspiring their peers with their commitment to innovation.

This year, the winners share what they enjoy the most about working in the automation space, what plans they have for their future and suggestions on getting more people into this industry.

To highlight the achievements of each individual selected for the Top 10 Under 40 list, Manufacturing AUTOMATION will feature one of 2023’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks.

This week, we introduce Justin Mladenoski, controls engineer at Reko Automation Division. Mladenoski discusses his passion for technology and his dream of passing on the baton to the next generation.


Manufacturing AUTOMATION: What do you enjoy the most about working in the manufacturing/automation space?

Justin Mladenoski: What I enjoy most about working in the manufacturing/automation space is how technology continuously evolves every day. There is something new to learn whenever I walk into work. Starting a new job with a customer and seeing it transition from the design stage to the build stage to the programming stage and then finally installing our new machinery into our customers’ facility is very rewarding. I enjoy using critical thinking to optimize processes and improve efficiency whether that be in the design process, robot programming or PLC programming.

MA: What are your future plans within the industry?

JM: I’d like to continue to grow individually as a professional in this space, making my knowledge and capabilities well-rounded as a controls engineer, learning and adapting to new processes and making sure that my skills are up to date with all the latest advancements in the automation sector. I want to eventually get to a point where I can transfer my knowledge to the next generation that comes into this space and try to share the same passion that I have with those individuals, just like I experienced when I walked through the doors of Reko on my first day. Being able to be that go-to person and a mentor is a position that I’d really like to get to one day.

MA: How can this industry encourage more people to join and pursue successful careers here?

JM: I feel that increasing awareness about the industry and its potential is important. Having job fairs and educational campaigns can help inform students, job seekers and the general public about the diverse and rewarding career opportunities available in automation and manufacturing. Reko is a great advocate for this, as we always have a booth at local education facilities and job fairs. Another way to encourage more people to pursue a career in this industry is through social media. Having intuitive videos of machinery/robots in action on popular social media websites will attract a lot of potential candidates.


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