Machinist, MetPlas, Inc.
What was your first job?
Pin chaser/ apprentice pinsetter mechanic
What do you do in your current role?
How/why did you begin your career in manufacturing?
Always wanted to be in manufacturing. Father worked in it, one grandfather was a mill worker at ATI for 30 years and my other grandfather was a metallurgist at 2 mills. Wanted to go to college for engineering but I didn’t have the patience for retaking classes I already took in high-school and classes that had nothing to do with my degree. Left penn state, tried again at BC3 in butler, but ultimately got into work at a machine shop in butler. My best friend is tool & die at Oberg and got me interested in the trade. Worked at that shop, self teaching most of it, then took classes part time at bc3 again until covid. Company closed down and I joined MetPlas last year and have been taking the apprenticeship there with hopes of finishing my mechanical engineering degree after that.
What is your educational background?
When you were in middle school/high school what sparked your interest in the manufacturing career pathway?
My grandfather was a metallurgist and my dad is an IT engineer for a big manufacturing company but he started out as a worker on the presses and would tell me all the time about working there and other manufacturing jobs he had in the past.
What do you like most about your current position and work you are doing in manufacturing?
I get to do math every day. And I get to take raw material and create something out of it. The problem solving is the best part.
What is the biggest thing that surprised you about manufacturing when you started working in the industry?
The machines I never seen before.
What is your #1 piece of advice for young people to prepare for a successful future?
Find enjoyment in what you do. Humans have an innate want to create and craft. Practice, read, watch YouTube videos, anything to improve yourself even after your education. Otherwise you will get bored with what you do and will not find enjoyment. If you enjoy what you do, it will lead to success because you will want to get better at it. You have unfettered access to virtually unlimited information in your pocket. Use it. No matter how often you fail, learn from it and keep trying. Don’t let failure get in your way.
Why should someone consider a career in manufacturing?
1) We are currently in a manufacturing renaissance in America. After decades of low skilled labor jobs leaving or being replaced by automation, manufacturing is returning and it’s a whole different ball game than the steel mills of 60 years ago. Skilled labor is in high demand and by current economic, projections will be in high demand with high pay.
2) It is genuinely enjoyable. It may be rough at times, but the feeling of creating something from raw resources cannot be beat.
What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?
I play video games with my wife, play with my infant son, learn new skills (at the time of writing this, I am trying to learn to program python), fishing, hunting, D&D. I am constantly listening to audio books about a wide variety of topics from geopolitics, history, political science, economics, science, math, etc.