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Machinist Spotlight with Matthew Schowalter, CMfgT

Machining is by far more interesting than what most people know. It is a career choice that most do not know how advanced it can be, especially the machining of today.
November 11, 2020

Machining is by far more interesting than what most people know. From the challenges of implementing new complex equipment in the shop, to CNC programming, or even making complex parts in one setup. It is a career choice that most do not know how advanced it can be, especially the machining of today. We can make parts in one setup that were once made in many setups on multiple pieces of equipment over a long-time frame. My career is a success story in manufacturing technology as I have embraced the technology of today.


I started my career in metalworking when I was in high school after I enrolled in the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship program.

It is a program that is a partnership between the school, state, and industry. I learned all about machining from both high school shop classes and while working in a machine shop. It proved to be an excellent foundation for my career. I had mentors that encouraged me to go on in my career and do great things.  


After high school, I enrolled in the Tool & Die Making Program at my local technical college. While attending school full time during the day, I worked at a tool & die shop during the night. At the completion of the Tool & Die Making Program, I was signed on as an Apprentice Tool & Die Maker.  The apprenticeship to become a Journeyman Tool and Die Maker is 10,400 hours, which equates to about five years.  However, if you push yourself the way I did, you can complete it in about half that time.  During my employment there, I was able to learn almost every aspect of the shop. This included die fitting and assembly, CNC machining, and CNC programming. The highlight of my eight years at that tool & die shop had to be the high-speed machining that I helped implement.  In conclusion, machining is a fulfilling career.


To bring inspiration to our industry, I have created a blog that promotes soft skills, hard skills, and work ethic with articles that focus on manufacturing.  

I have recruited three regular writers that have worked in our industry.  One is the CEO of a manufacturing facility; another is a professional engineer and the other is a job developer with a master’s degree in psychology.  

To learn more please visit the blog website at Machining.Blog.