I originally wanted to be a mechanic, so I took about 3 years of that in high school. It was one of my teachers who introduced me to manufacturing. He told me “You don’t want to be a mechanic because you’ll be fixing other people’s problems. If you go into mold making, you’ll still get to work with your hands and operate different machines, like grinders and Bridgeports, and there’s so much to learn.” That sounded like fun, so I took manufacturing and drafting. I remember I really enjoyed learning welding. I especially remember drafting because I got to draft and create some stuff, which was fun. Mold making engaged my creative side.
In grade 11, I took the co-op program and got placed in mold making with a plastic injection manufacturer.
Half the day I spent in class, and the other half I went out and did work. I met a lot of great people and after my co-op placement, I got hired. I worked there for 4 years as a mold maker, when someone asked me if I wanted to learn carbon cutting and programming. So, I said “Sure, ok”, and for the next 2-3 years I learned how to run Powermill and cut carbon. Then, I think it was 2004, there was a big layoff at work, and they must have known in advance because they moved me to the EDM department. They had an EDM plant in the company that they moved me to. The EDM plant had 9 EDM machines. I did EDM there for about 5-6 years. The company must have known that they were downsizing again, so they moved me to a CMM position, which I did for about 7 years.
While doing CMM, I got another opportunity to do something different. I got a call from somebody to work for another company’s plant, where I learned how to pull electrodes*. I did that for 4 years and I wasn’t getting any raises. I went from knowing nothing to being confident that I was doing a really good job but it just wasn’t happening. So, I left there and did CMM for production for about 2 years before I got laid off. I needed money so I went back to the previous company for about 6 months, working with a lot of engineering data. All the data that came in and out of the building came through me first. Data from different software platforms. My job was to transfer the data, do overlays for the program managers, and send data out to different customers. I did that for about 6 months. It was pretty hectic doing it by myself. After 6 months I got a call about an available position and I went for the interview. I got quite a bit more money to learn how to do the scheduling for a mold shop in Windsor. I did that for a year, when an old coworker called me with a great opportunity, with lots of fun to be had. He said that I would be the perfect candidate for working there, it’s a great place, with great people and it’s not like any other place he’s ever worked for. So, I came to Circle 5 for an interview and I decided to take the job.
The people that you work with make or break any kind of job. At the places where I worked before, I really enjoyed working with the people. They were like family. There’ve been a couple of places I worked at where people were like family. When I got the call from Circle 5, I thought maybe I’ll try EDM again. What inspired me to come and work for Circle 5 was that I didn’t have to sit and program all day, here I get the option of setting up jobs, running CNC machines, and learning Powermill. Learning these different modalities inside our department has been great for me because now I’m not just doing one job, I’m not a robot just pushing buttons. I get to move around; I like to call it a playground.
I also like teaching the younger generation of mold makers. It’s fun to watch the world through their eyes. You forget what it’s like to be young, and just the stuff they talk about. I feel like I contribute a lot working here. I feel confident and I feel like I do a good job.
Circle 5 is always looking for capable and talented people to join our growing team. Our learning environment fosters creativity and innovation through collaborative teamwork. Follow the link to see a list of available opportunities.
*Pulling Electrodes – Extracting the electrode burning shape from the CAD tool design.