Banner Image

Manufacturing a Career on the Factory Floor: Part 12

Posted by Stephanie Austin on Tue, Dec 12, 2023 @ 08:30 AM

This blog series intends to shatter some "manufacturing myths".  Sometimes there is a perception of manufacturing being dirty, dead-end, unskilled, monotonous and boring. The reality is, it's bright, clean, fulfilling, hi-tech, versatile and rewarding!

Mfg Myth Graphic-2

I had the privilege of interviewing some Zentech employees and some of our partners - a way of humanizing the manufacturing industry to demonstrate why you may want to consider a manufacturing career.

This time, I interviewed Sal Sparacino, Director of Sales at Zestron. They manufacture water based cleaning agents for printed circuit boards.

Sal Sparacino, Director of Sales,  Zestron

Stephanie: Sal, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Sal (00000)-1Sal: I’m from North Jersey and went to engineering school there; that’s where I met Steve Pudles [former Zentech CEO]. But I only entered the electronics industry in 2010. Before that, I was involved in industrial equipment for many years.

I started with General Foods as a Project Engineer, in the commercial food industry. In 2010, I decided I wanted to try something different. That’s when I found Zestron. They were looking for a Technical Marketing Manager at the time. So here I am.

Stephanie: So what drew you to the electronics industry?

The neat thing about the electronics industry is that it’s constantly changing. When you look at the rate of change, it’s incredible. And that means there’s always opportunity. So at Zestron, we make water based cleaning agents for printed circuit boards. And we’ve been able to do some revolutionary types of things over the years and I have enjoyed being a part of that. Our products are geared towards cost effectiveness and efficiency for our customers. Back when I started here, we introduced the first ever pH neutral cleaning agent. Just about every company now has sustainability objectives and the pH neutral product is part of that for us. We’re very much at the forefront of environmental sensitivity.

You had asked earlier why I like this industry so much. I feel like we’re on the forefront of technology here at Zestron, and in the electronics industry as a whole. Zestron is based in Germany where they do a lot of R&D. We have 8 technical centers around the world. The neat thing is as the sales team identifies needs from our customers, we’re able to take those back to our R&D team in Germany and actually translate those needs into solutions. That's definitely a satisfying feeling.

We like to think of ourselves as more than just manufacturing a cleaning agent. We offer a lot of services above and beyond that. Here in Manassas [VA] is a Technical Center. We are able to help our customers identify and fix their board cleaning challenges.

Stephanie: If you were talking to a group of young people, what would you say to encourage them to enter into a manufacturing career?

Sal: I like to describe it as dynamic. My age bracket now, I’m a Technology Newcomer. Whereas young people are Technology Natives. That’s a great place to be as a young person looking at career options. As a young person, things are constantly changing, and you can always acquire new skills. You’re constantly learning and you will never be bored. It’s great time to be in this industry.

technology natives

 If you would like to know more about careers at Zentech, visit our Zentech Careers website.

Additional Resources: 
IPC Educational Foundation - Electronics Career Profiles
Creators Wanted
- Find manufacturing jobs, career pathways and training programs

About Zestron:
ZESTRON manufactures water based cleaning agents for printed circuit boards and is headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, and also operates in more than 35 countries. With eight technical centers worldwide and the industry’s most knowledgeable team of engineers focused on high precision cleaning, ZESTRON’s commitment to ensuring that its customers surpass even the most stringent cleaning requirements is without equal. For additional information or to tour one of our technical centers, please visit their website.

About Zentech:
Zentech Manufacturing, an Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) small business, is primarily focused on the defense, aerospace, and medical industries, specializing in producing highly complex electronic and electromechanical circuit card assemblies. The company has locations in Baltimore, MD, Richardson, TX, and Bloomington, IL and maintains several key electronics industry certifications. In January 2023, Zentech received the Stan Plzak Corporate Recognition Award from the IPC.

Zentech Baltimore Video Tour