AAI of WNY: The Art of Manufacturing
The arts and manufacturing. Do you think they go together? The answer is "YES!" in a big way and it can be a great career for makers to blend their love of the arts into a manufacturing position. Artists and musicians have strengths in the backgrounds that ultimately carry over to careers they may never have thought of before.
The correlation between the arts and manufacturing workforce was recognized early on by Rick Plympton, CEO of Optimax Systems Inc.. “The Optimax workforce has always included many musicians. This is something that we recognized in the early days when we were trying to figure out who we were and what we wanted to become. We didn’t plan this, it just happened.” He shares on this Optimax blog post several ways that musicians are a great fit for the manufacturing environment such as having dexterity, a natural ability to multitask, and the drive for achieving perfection.
Several apprentices at AAI of WNY partner companies have art backgrounds that ended up impacting their pathway in apprenticeship and the jobs they now hold.
JoAnn from Cummins Engine Plant in Jamestown, NY expressed her passion for a hand-drawing class she had in high school and it ultimately opened her eyes to different opportunities in non-traditional art fields, such as working at a manufacturing company. She is now a Drafter and loves that her job is creative. "You see a problem, you need to be creative, you find a solution" says JoAnn. With her apprenticeship and career path at Cummins, she was able to blend her love for art into the manufacturing field.
At Romold Inc. in Rochester, NY, Moldmaker Carolyn began college studying jewelry-making but quickly found it wasn’t quite what she wanted to do, yet knew she wanted to work with her hands. She enjoys being precise in her work and aims for perfection, something that is an important part of being a Moldmaker."I encourage young girls in high school to take their artistic interests and see where it can take them. I never thought of manufacturing until my teachers and Dad encouraged me to think about it. You can have a great career and still have your art in there."
Genny is an Optician at Optimax Systems Inc. in Ontario, NY who loves "...utilizing colors, texture, and tools…" and is "...making things that are going into crazy stuff. Some of this is getting shot into space." Optimax builds the optics behind breakthrough technologies used in aerospace, defense, and consumer products. Genny has a degree in Art and never thought she would be able to use it but she found herself at Optimax bringing her maker abilities and skills to the table and gets to learn something new everyday.
Are you thinking about the arts in manufacturing differently now? You can take what you love and use it in a great career. Take a look at an apprenticeship opportunity or a career start in manufacturing and see what doors can open for you and your passion in the arts.
Read more from Rick Plymptom’s "What is the connection between musicians and manufacturing?" on Optimax Systems Inc.’s blog here.