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Jan 21, 2018







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What are you really interested in right now?
Me and my wife will go rock climbing inside a gym. … We like the top-rope.




Tim Nietenhoefer
Machinist

10/26/17



 Explain what your current job is.

I work on seven different machines at any given time. Three of them are lathes, two are mills and two other ones are key seaters. One of them is a shaping head and the other one is just a bigger version of that. … They’re actually just gigantic tools. They pull the workpiece and will either spin the workpiece or spin the tool instead, and they’re used for cutting metal. ... I do a lot of things for shafts. We’re a mixing company and there’s several components and I work on the shafting part, where … it will hang down in a giant tank and it will mix a batch of liquid, whether that be pharmaceutical or cosmetics or food. 
How long have you been there?
Seven years. 
 
How did you get interested in this field?
I grew up poor and I ended up having an opportunity to go to a vocational high school … and in that, they give you several selections of different trades you can go into and one of the ones was actually machining. … I spent six weeks in it, decided I liked it and went into it. I really like creating things.
 
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
On the job, really. I spent three years in vocational — so, sophomore to senior year. I haven’t been able to get a college education. Not yet. So it actually allowed me to get into a trade that pays pretty well and be able to make something that I can be proud of.
 
How did you find your current job?
It actually ended up being through a temp agency. It was the easiest way to get my resume out there and I started on, went through the 90 days and they just signed me on. And since then, I’ve been working on the lathes, on the mills.
 
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
I’ve been in five different shops, including this one. … I’ve met a lot of older guys who have actually been working and the one thing I notice is, in all these shops, there was this one older guy who can just outwork me. No matter how fast I moved, he would move slow but he would have his same kind of work done faster than me. And what I realized was focused, direct movements outweigh any fast hand motions.
 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
When I first started, I didn’t realize how fast-paced machining actually could be. 
 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
I wear steel-toe boots, I wear black Dickies and I just wear a T-shirt, and, obviously, safety glasses.
 
What was the first job you ever had?
[My] very first job was … a machine shop I worked for during co-op. … In my senior year of high school … every other week we would have shop and the following week we would have academics.
 
— Ryan Lessard 





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