Emerging Leader Andres Barajas, Journeyman, CNC Machinist Programmer, Micron Manufacturing Co.
For Andres, manufacturing has influenced his life in a very positive way. Andres began working at Micron Manufacturing Co. in 2007 to first overcome many challenges he faced and to be a good role model for his brother.
For Andres, manufacturing has influenced his life in a very positive way. Andres began working at Micron Manufacturing Co. in 2007 to first overcome many challenges he faced and to be a good role model for his brother. What started out as a job, where he spun chips and swept floors, would eventually become a career for him.
Only a couple months after he started at the company, Andres was approached by the company’s Acme lead man to load bars into a machine and check the parts coming out.
“I pointed out that Andres had shown up for 60 days straight and that made him a perfect candidate,” says Dan Vermeesch, plant manager and Andres’ nominator for Production Machining’s Emerging Leaders award. “The Acme lead man expressed concern that Andres had never touched a machine before, but he took him under his wing anyway.”
Then in that same year, Andres followed the newly minted setup standard work, Dan says. Only 120 days after he walked into a manufacturing facility for the first time, Andres completed his first Acme setup in 2 hours, 37 minutes (note: he went from a 1.1875-inch round part to a 0.3125-inch hex part with threads—not a simple tweak).
In October 2017, Andres graduated as Micron’s first journeyman CNC machinist programmer. “Machining is now a career, and it’s made me a better person,” Andres says. “I have what I have now because of the machining world and that’s not just a house, car and other things, but also confidence and a path to becoming an engineer.”
In between his first machine setup and graduating from Micron’s apprenticeship program, Andres became a single dad. While raising his daughter, he put himself through school and completed his associate degree in tooling and manufacturing. Since completing his associate degree and the apprenticeship, Andres is continuing his education in pursuit of a degree in manufacturing engineering technology.
Andres has not only succeeded in inspiring his brother, but his co-workers and now perhaps his industry colleagues.
To read about other 2018 Emerging Leaders, click here.
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