KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Garmin International, the growing global company with almost 15,000 employees based in Olathe, Kansas, is looking for dozens of new employees.
If you are looking for a new career, your path could begin at Garmin. Not every job requires applicants have a degree and you could get help earning one on the job.
They make technology ranging from fitness watches to flight decks, fish finders to satellite communicators, and more.
On a warm September day, Jeremiah Estes ran on the trail at the company's Olathe campus wearing four Garmin fitness watches at once. He called it a standard set up to test and compare their data.
“This is what I designed for this watch,” he said, pulling a small round circuit board the size of a watch face out of his pocket.
He said he wasn’t a runner when he switched departments from aviation several years ago.
“So I just started running to figure out why people would want a running watch or pay for a running watch and I just started to really love running,” he said. “It’s really cool to tie your passion to your career and it almost kinda seems like you’re playing at work.”
Garmin International started 30 years ago in Lenexa, and Michelle Cormack, senior technical recruiter of human resources, said the company has found success with passionate employees.
“We employ people who are super passionate about our products and many times they incorporate that with their job as well,” Cormack said.
Cormack said there are more than 120 wide-ranging jobs open in Olathe, from engineering jobs to cyber security, product support, and more.
“I think we have over 40 different positions open in product support right now, and those positions are really interesting because we love to hire people who have a passion for the product,” she said. “Do you love to fish? Great. Do you use our product? Great. Maybe you can just answer the calls from these other fishermen who have questions about those products. Same thing with the fitness industry.”
Patrick Zwolinski, the associate director for product support, leads the fitness product support team.
“We’re routinely hiring runners and cyclists and people who are into fitness,” Zwolinski said. “We’re responsible for support for all of the Americas."
Working in product support is one of the jobs at Garmin that does not require applicants have a degree.
“Many of our associates don’t and Garmin is really good at tuition reimbursement as well,” he said.
Zwolinski started at Garmin with a degree, but was able to use the tuition reimbursement program to earn his MBA.
“I took my first job out of school with Garmin,” Zwolinski said. “I’ve turned it into a career and there’s a lot of folks here who have done the same thing."
Cormack said those just starting out are eligible for the benefit, too.
“You don’t even need to be here more than a day before you can sign up, you know, for a class,” said Cormack.
From more than 40 clubs to join, no dress code, even reimbursement to earn a pilot’s license, employees said they are proud to be a part of the company’s culture.
“This is a place where you can definitely find your niche and belong to something bigger,” Cormack said.
Estes said the company promotes "a really good work-life balance."
Cormack said many employees are currently working from home and while the company is currently conducting interviews virtually, a real person looks at every application.
Thousands of people are filing for first-time unemployment in Kansas and Missouri every week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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