GreenH2@Work Employee Spotlight: Joe Williams
Plug is building the green hydrogen economy from the ground up, making hydrogen easy for our customers in a variety of industries. To do that takes all hands on deck, sometimes even stepping outside your normal job duties to make sure projects get done. This culture provides Plug employees with the opportunity to stretch themselves and grow both professionally and personally.
Joe Williams, Plug’s Senior Talent Development Specialist, exemplifies our culture by lending a helping hand to teams throughout Plug.
Sharing his wisdom with fellow Plug colleagues, Joe offered straightforward advice: “Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you—take the initiative to learn and grow independently.”
As a man of his word, he willingly relocated to Houston, where he would be an HR field partner. His move to Houston allowed employees on-site to come to him with “small questions to big concerns.” Acting as a point of contact for employee relations, he was able to help educate and, more importantly, build relationships with his team.
No matter the team, Plug employees are willing to help teams in need. Joe did not just help the Houston team; he built relationships and educated them. He will tell you himself about his favorite part of the experience
“It was great to share information with the team. I was able to educate managers on our training opportunities and better understand how my team could support them.”
At Plug, employees are not stuck within their job descriptions. They are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones to better their careers, help other teams, or expand their knowledge. Joe recalled the pivotal moment when the phrase “you own your own development” resonated with him.
For Joe, that decisive step forward came in the form of volunteering for an integral role within Plug’s manufacturing division. This role involved providing coverage for supervisors on the production floor in Latham, including overnight shifts within the testing and verification and stack departments.
Joe’s primary responsibility during this period involved ensuring the team stayed on track, adhering to schedules for testing and verification processes. He noted, “The T&V team essentially acts as the final quality checkpoint before our products are dispatched to customers.
Witnessing the meticulous process of assembling, operating, and testing our units was a fascinating revelation. The team’s adeptness at identifying and rectifying issues was truly impressive.”
Beyond the technical aspect, Joe valued the opportunity to connect with team members, listening to their insights and establishing rapport.
Joe elaborated, “Drawing from my previous experience in leading teams and supporting operations, I was eager to dive deeper into understanding the business and the intricacies of production. The hands-on experience was incredibly immersive.”
Joe expressed his renewed enthusiasm for being back in a production and operations setting. Armed with an Economics degree from the University of Albany, he initially embarked on his professional journey as an intern at Target. Progressing steadily, he assumed the role of Assistant Store Manager at Target, which allowed him to engage closely with both customers and staff. It was during this tenure that Joe’s interest turned toward HR, ultimately leading him to leverage Plug’s tuition reimbursement program to pursue an MBA in HR.
Joe’s enthusiasm for active participation led him to engage in HR “lightning teams,” where small groups collaborate intensively to complete specific projects within tight timelines. Moreover, he maintains an open dialogue with his manager, Jade Houtz, about his aspirations, actively fostering connections with colleagues both within HR and across the organization.
Jade commended Joe’s dedication, noting, “We’re not only supporting Joe’s personal growth but also benefiting from his eagerness to contribute to the business.”
Joe is the embodiment of Plug’ culture. His passion for human relations and desire to learn has helped Plug become a better place, but more importantly, has impacted the lives of his peers. Curiosity is rewarded at Plug, and Joe has taken advantage of every opportunity.