Machinewell stands out by offering opportunities within its community
Chris Kiesow, a recent Grygla graduate, and son of Ron & Colleen Kiesow, has his future career path well planned out. With help from Machinewell, Inc., of Grygla, Minn., Chris will be attending Alexandria Technical & Community College to earn a degree in Mechanical Drafting, Design, & Engineer Technology.
When Kiesow was a junior in high school, he toured Machinewell with his class. Stating that he never knew all of the interesting projects the business did, the tour really grabbed his attention. The summer following his junior year, Chris got a much more in depth look at the industry. Attending a Machinewell open house, asking a lot of questions, and researching the job field a bit more, Chris decided this was the career path he’d like to take. He spent his senior year working part-time, every day after school, at Machinewell. For the little time he was there, Kiesow said he was able to see and pick up a lot of stuff. He will be employed full-time with the company this summer, which will bring him right up to the start of college.
The only school in the state of Minnesota that offers machining programs is Alexandria Technical & Community College. One program is Machine Tool Technology and the other is Mechanical Drafting, Design, & Engineer Technology, which is the degree Chris plans to pursue.
Machinewell, Inc. has been providing tours of their facility to grades 7-12 every spring. This began last year with the Grygla School and they have added Goodridge to the roster this year. Machinewell Accountant/Customer Service Rep, Tonia Haack, noted, “At the end of the school tours, we explain the program we offer to get the kids’ minds thinking and show them there is opportunity in their community.”
That opportunity the local business offers is one that surely stands out.
To students interested in gaining the appropriate degree, Machinewell offers a program that will pay for half of the first year’s tuition and all of the 2nd year. In return, the student must maintain a 3.0 GPA and remain a Machinewell employee for two years after successful completion of the machining program.
“A lot more kids than people realize have intentions of staying around the area if they can find something they enjoy doing. The added student benefit of having a majority of your college paid for is also a large factor for students, as well as parents.” Haack added.
For Kiesow, that benefit spoke volumes. When asked what he would like to share with younger kids about this opportunity within their community, Chris said, “I’d like them to know that it’s a big deal. For the size of Grygla, and the opportunity to get ¾ of your college paid for, it’s great. The income and job security that also comes with this degree is very good. After I graduate college, I plan to be one of the people who draws the parts and sets up the program in the machine. I want to do my best and plan for a long, successful career at Machinewell.”
Over the past few years, Machinewell has initiated soliciting employment with the college students within the machining programs at Alex Tech in hopes to better secure future employment for the company. A few students have come to tour the facility and area, but no luck with a successful transfer just yet. Bryan Dougherty, who works in the Engineering Department and who has also been working closely with Chris, is involved in the recruitment process. “It’s been a bit slow finding kids at this time. It’s still exciting, though, to open the eyes of many kids during these recruitment trips. They find out what kind of technical and exciting stuff a small town machining facility can produce,” he commented. For Dougherty, he feels the company has made a great impression on many young adults at Alex Tech and it will only be more beneficial with Kiesow enrolling in the program. “With Chris helping us in the future, and the need for manufacturing continuing to rise, I think there will be some new faces appearing in our small town. In the short time I have known Chris, and worked with him, I feel he is going to do very well. He has great ambition and also a great passion for machining; that’s what we need in this company and this industry,” he added.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Vol. 41, Number 46
~ Precision Parts ~
~ Progressive Partners ~
P.O. Box 157
115 West State Street
Grygla, MN 56727