The month of August means that summer is officially winding down, and for many that also means it’s back to school time! Here at Accudyn, August might also conjure up memories of the establishment of Accudyn Mold & Engineering (AME), our onsite tooling, engineering, and project management facility. Considering that it’s never too soon to get students interested in a career in manufacturing, we asked Dennis Albrewczynski, Tooling Operations Manager at AME, whom he might recommend to spark an interest in a such a career:
“Joel [Odell] has been a breath of fresh air since joining AME a year ago. His eagerness to learn has motivated the older toolmakers to share their knowledge with him. We are fortunate to have someone like Joel here at AME.”
Accudyn’s latest employee spotlight is on toolmaker, Joel Odell!
A lot of people in this region [Northwest Pennsylvania] have toolmakers in their family, which may have inspired them to get into a similar field. However, your path isn’t quite as direct as that! Can you take us back to the environment in which you grew up, and how it might have put you on your current career path?
I grew up in Ripley, NY on a dairy farm and started helping with chores at six, so I learned how to work hard at a young age. I enjoyed working outdoors, but I knew I never wanted to be a farmer. My grandfather was kind of a jack of all trades, so I got to help him with construction projects around his house. This made me realize that I really enjoyed building things. When I thought about my future, I knew I wanted to pursue a trade, but I didn’t know which one. The summer of my senior year of high school, I was given the opportunity to be a custodian and driver for a local tool shop. I enjoyed the environment and the work they did intrigued me. I was told that if I work hard and put in effort, that I could have a career in toolmaking.
When you first came to Accudyn, the company was preparing to move our toolmaking facilities from what was dubbed “Accudyn South” to the newly constructed AME. What do you remember about the atmosphere in your first few weeks and months of employment?
I spent most of my first few weeks packing up and moving Accudyn South, so I wasn’t sure what this was really going to be like. Once we were moved into the new building, it was exciting to see how it all came together. It was neat to be a part of the beginning of AME. I enjoyed setting up my work area the way I wanted and assisting in the organization of the rest of the shop.
What has been different about your experiences as a toolmaker at Accudyn compared to previous experiences?
The atmosphere here is much different than at the where I previously worked. I went from working at a 50-man shop to a 7-man shop, which was a nice change. Because of the smaller size, it allows training and education much more than my previous shop. I have been able to run new machines and learn so many more things. At the previous shop, I was just a machinist, running one type of machine all the time, where at Accudyn I have been given the opportunity to become a toolmaker. We are really appreciated and valued here, which was a nice change.
What do you like about your job?
As I mentioned above, I love learning new things. I have always wanted to learn how to run a mill and I am getting formal training for that soon. I appreciate the gratitude of the leadership here, and how much they value their employees. I like that we do custom work which means that every job is different and a new challenge.
What do you feel others, whether it’s those who are misinformed about the industry, or those considering a career path, should know about a career in manufacturing, especially as a toolmaker?
Manufacturing is a unique industry. Sometimes it is slow, and then sometimes it is 100 miles per hour! You never know what is coming next, it is also enjoyable for that reason because it keeps things exciting. You do not have to go to college to have a successful career.
What skill do you think everyone should learn?
Communication! It is beneficial to every area in life, especially work.
What is a hidden talent or little-known fact about you?
I volunteer in the kids’ area at Elevate Church. It is one of the highlights of my week.
Congratulations on your first anniversary here at Accudyn, Joel! It’s great to see you thriving in a career from which you were able to ascertain a path at an early age! We hope it inspires more people to explore manufacturing careers, especially toolmaking.
On another note: hats off to those hard-working dairy farmers as well!