Q. Tell us about yourself and what it’s like to be a part of the West-MEC Precision Manufacturing program.
A. My name is Asa Gutierrez Jr. and I’m 17 years old. Currently, I’m a senior at La Joya Community High School. I made the decision to join the West-MEC Precision Manufacturing program to open up opportunities for myself in the industry. I’m always excited to start each day at West-MEC, not only because I get to see the new friends I have made, but because of the incredible learning environment. Mr. Gil is our instructor for the program and I have to say I wouldn’t ask for anyone else to instruct us on this topic! When we come to class Mr. Gil makes sure we have the proper training to safely operate the equipment and makes sure we understand what we will be doing in the shop each day. Don’t get me wrong, this is a safe work place, but Mr. Gil has the ability to make situations less strenuous. I remember going over safety rules and equipment management in the shop and I was concerned about breaking a drill-bit, but he said: “There will be times you break things in the shop, but that’s expected in Industry.” I felt at ease knowing there are procedures in place to protect other students and I if equipment breaks. Another thing I enjoy about this class is the people I’m around. My friend Tony has something funny to say all the time. He just knows how to make someone’s day better with his corny jokes. He read this and said he would have used the words: “magnificent, aw-inspiring, or even glorious” instead of corny. Just the way he said this made me laugh!
Q. Why did you choose to pursue this program over some of the others West-MEC offers?
A. I signed up for Precision Manufacturing because I’ve always been interested in how things are built and how all buildings, tools, parts, etc. start with manufacturing. Let’s say we take apart the most monumental building in New York: the Empire State Building. We would find metal beams held together by a tiny bolt. This tiny bolt had to be created by someone and how he or she did this has always fascinated me. Just imagine such a little bolt holding together structures like the Empire State Building? Isn’t that amazing something so small can create something so big?
Q. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
A. My close family has always been an inspiration to me. All my life we’ve struggled with financial things. I want a better future for my family and my self, and joining West-MEC has given me that opportunity.
Q. When you are not at school, what do you enjoy doing?
A. On Tuesdays and Thursdays after school ends, I have to go to band practice. I am in the Trumpet section leader of the Marching Lobos band. I love playing the trumpet and I’ve played for about 7 years now.
Q. What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing the West-MEC Precision Manufacturing Program?
A. If you are looking to better your FUTURE then join West-MEC. There are many different programs, like: Aviation Maintenance Technology, Avionics/Electronics, Medium/Heavy Diesel Technology and so much more. I decided to join the Precision Manufacturing program because it’s the one that peaked my interest the most. It’s hard work and requires a lot of time studying, but to overcome struggles like poverty you must work hard. At West-MEC, you will build a better future for yourself.
ASA is a senior at West-MEC