MemphisWorks Career Stories Episode 15 – Scott works at Keeler Iron Works

My name Scott, I’m a CNC Machine Operator. This is
Keeler Iron Works Memphis, Tennessee. My job at Keeler Iron Works is a CNC Operator, I
run beams to industrial, structural fabrication through machines. Cutting holes, coats, miters,
structural designs into being from picture and design, into reality.
A typical work day for me would be to come in at six in the morning, clock in, check my work
load, finish jobs that I’d done the day before. Go through my new jobs, recalculate,
reestimate on what I’m using, the material that I’m using, make sure the machine is operational,
start running those jobs, checking the products. You have to make sure everything is correct.
It’s got to be within a sixteenth or less. It’s a very accurate, time consuming job but we have to
do it right. You really have to have your game on when you come in the door. No matter
what’s going on outside in the world, when you come in the door, you put your game face
on and you have to focus on your math, you have to focus on your skills. This is one of those
jobs that you say, I would never use calculus, I would never use physics, I would
never use trigonometry, or geometry. But when you come here you use all of that and you
have to focus on that every day, so you have to have your game face on from 6:00 until 4:30 or 5:30 or however long the day is. So it’s very straining on you, but
that’s what you have to do is focus really hard. Personally, I love the challenge. I love the challenge doing something new, I love the
challenge of an engineering design. Seeing something on paper. And by the time it leaves,
I get to see the finished product or I get to drive by it or go to it and look at it and say I
did that. That’s mine, that’s my baby. And that’s my challenge,
is to see what they can throw at me next and see if I can accomplish it because it’s kind of
like a mountain, you always want to go higher, you always want to find that higher peak and
that’s kind of like what we do. Monetarily it’s good. Pay is always good, you
get a lot of overtime and you get a lot of weekends and a lot of holidays. But it’s worth
it in the end because you do get compensated very well.
With bonuses and year end bonuses, and such like that but it all weighs out in the end
and it’s really worth it. When I was a teenager I went to vo-tech, got into it, I found out that I really enjoyed it. I went into other careers,
as far as being an electrician. I’ve worked construction, I found out I really
liked that side of it but I wanted something more and then I went and took online classes
for several things to increase my knowledge. But eventually I found my way here and this
is really truly my calling and I love iron work.

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