LaunchPoint: Hitting the Reset Button
By Larissa Hofman
Director of Communications
Minneapolis, MN [Oct 24, 2013] - With the uncertainty and downturn that surrounded the housing market in 2005, Nathan Engstrom struggled to obtain work as an electrician. As a young man wanting to earn a living and move forward, Nate was left feeling discouraged and unsure of how to press the reset button on his career. When his grandfather shared his rewarding experience working for Honeywell, Nate began to consider pursuing his own career in manufacturing. After discovering the many career possibilities the industry has to offer and recognizing his natural aptitude for mechanical thinking, Nate decided to attend Anoka Technical College in Minneapolis.
It was at Anoka Tech Nate was taught Tooling U’s leading manufacturing training curriculum, Mastercam programming, how to operate CNC mills and lathes and more. His instructor, Jesse Oldenburg, challenged Nate to think for himself and problem solve. After spending 2 years gaining technical knowledge and hands-on training at Anoka Tech, Nate graduated and was eager to launch his career. But as much as Nate wanted to work with machines, he also wanted to work with people.
The president at Hegman Machinery, Jerry Rex, had a position open for an Applications Engineer. Jerry reached out to a few of the local schools including Anoka Tech, and chose to follow up on Jesse’s recommendation to consider hiring Nate. “Actually understanding how the students learn, what the instructors expect and a having better feel for the curriculum taught, makes a big difference in knowing whether or not graduates from those schools and programs will be a good fit,” said Jerry. After Jerry met with Nate and recognized Nate’s willingness to learn, he hired him as the Applications Engineer.
Doug Spence, Nate’s supervisor, continues to train Nate to operate the CNC machines at Hegman Machinery and work directly with customers. “Nate seems interested in learning 'why' and not just the 'how' of what we do. He asks questions and takes initiative to search out answers on his own,” said Doug. Nate is looking forward to working with customers and said, “It will offer a good challenge for me as well as learn how to help customers work through various machining problems they might encounter.” Nate is progressing well and has launched his successful career in an industry with tremendous opportunities to work in a wide range of sectors. For Nathan Engstrom, this is his LaunchPoint.
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