As a business owner and a manufacturer, I feel we need to fight for the limelight. There are so many sexier things to talk about or highlight than manufacturing in today’s society. Between a POTUS tweet or a Kardashian Instagram post, how can we get attention on us? Well, this story is not about manufacturing, but what happened within manufacturing over the last 16 years that should remind people of hope that good people and good work are still at the forefront of today.
Blong Vang started with VistaTek on September 16, 2002. He came to work right out of high school. His position was a prototype (SLA) finisher. For 8 hours a day he finished every surface of a 3D printed model to achieve the customer’s desired surface finish using sandpaper, Dremels and pure elbow grease.
From here he learned more about the 3D printing equipment. He started the training of maintenance, programming and removal of the parts from the machines. From here Blong took on more training regarding the inspection of finished parts before shipping.
Within VistaTek we had an opening for a CNC operator as our rapid tooling division was growing. Blong stated that he had interest in becoming more involved with that growing division. So another transition occurred for Blong and again he succeeded. From here, he never looked back.
Fast forward to today and Blong is one of the anchors in our tool room. He has embrace the mold making trade and has been a straight-A student to his mentor and tool room manger, Mark Leyde. I have personally enjoyed seeing Blong and Mark grow in their expertise and their friendship. They have become brothers from different mothers.
Today Blong can be found at the CMM doing inspection, the bench assembling a mold or behind his tube programming a CNC tool path or completing a simple mold design. Blong is a Rock Star, a Guru, a Ninja or any other trendy slang that means that this guy is good and he cares.
Blong participates with company events (Chili cook-off, March Madness pick and Potlucks), takes on anything given to him and adds value in anything that he does. I would hire him again today as that 18 year old… humble and hungry. A giant thank you goes to him for purely being him, a valued VistaTek employee!