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Employee Spotlight: Peter Woodruff

After so many years deployed away from home, I’m so thankful to have finally found a home with Enstrom Helicopter Corporation. Hi, my name is Peter “Woodie” Woodruff. I grew up in Swartz Creek, Michigan, an area known as the “’burbs of Flint,” and joined the army in 2002 shortly after my first daughter Abigale was born.

I soon found myself deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in May of 2003 as a combat engineer, where I was first approached about working to maintain AH-64D attack helicopters. The enlistment officer told me he had seen my score on the ASVAB and believed me to be an ideal candidate. I chose to reenlist as a 15R attack helicopter repairer, which would require me to attend Military Occupational Specialty school in Georgia.

My growing family, now including my wife and second daughter Katie, joined me at Hunter Army Airfield as I trained for the new position. I then received orders to deploy to Tikrit, Iraq and later to Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. While my deployments often proved hectic and downright dangerous, I will be forever thankful for how these tours instilled in me the value of continued education. When I returned stateside to Fort Campbell, I made it a priority to go back to school and get my A&P. I began taking classes at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

Finally, after nearly a dozen years serving my country, I officially departed from the Army and moved back to my hometown.

Here’s where Enstrom enters the picture. I got a call from Enstrom back in 2015. They needed a contractor for final assembly and flight line. I worked my six-month contract and then joined the staff full time as a quality inspector, quickly assuming the role of team lead. I later earned my associate degree at the University of Wisconsin, Marinette and then shortly thereafter, Enstrom shut down.

That shut down was tough, but I don’t consider it wasted time. I went back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in supply chain management. I also found work as a technical writer, and while I’d consider it a fun gig, it couldn’t compete with Enstrom. Something about Enstrom, for the first time in my life, really felt like home to me.

Fortunately, Chuck Surack stepped in to purchase the company and reopened the factory floor. I was ecstatic to be invited back! I joined the management team as a production supervisor on second shift. Enstrom has allowed me to pursue my passion for aviation in unique and meaningful ways. If you’re looking for a supportive work family who invests in you and your future, look no further than to the one I’ve found in Menominee!

About Enstrom Helicopter

From Rudy Enstrom’s early designs in 1943 to initial testing in a Michigan Quarry in 1957 to aircraft operating on six continents, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has maintained a reputation for safety, value and performance. Based in Menominee, Michigan and proudly made in the United States, Enstrom has a rich history for design innovation. The goal is to provide helicopters to the customer’s exact specification and deliver support and maintenance worldwide.