After the positive response to virtual manufacturing tours on National Manufacturing Day, we are now offering monthly “Breakfast with a Manufacturer” online events. The first offering on November 19 featured Cal Reynolds, President of Snowline Engineering, in Cameron Park. Pete Delosa’s Introduction to Design Engineering class at Golden Sierra Junior-Senior High School in Garden Valley participated.
The monthly presentation is co-sponsored by the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative (SVMI) and the California Community Colleges North Region Advanced Manufacturing initiative to increase high school students’ awareness of manufacturing careers. Reynolds spent about 25 minutes speaking about his career path in manufacturing, followed by 15 minutes answering students’ questions.
Students appreciated how forthright he was in saying that he hadn’t been a good student in high school. He indicated that if it weren’t for a ROP teacher who took an interest in him and his mechanical abilities, he probably wouldn’t have graduated on time.
Reynolds recalled that the ROP teacher helped get him a job in a machine shop where he began by deburring parts. Over time, he learned to make the parts while operating manual manufacturing machines. It wasn’t until years later, at the age of 39, that Reynolds got his Mechanical Engineering degree from Sacramento State University.
About 20 years ago, Reynolds had the opportunity to buy Snowline Engineering and now is the President of the company. With more than 45 employees, Snowline Engineering manufactures parts for companies such as Space X, Siemens and Honeywell.
When asked what classes he suggested students take while in school, Reynolds encouraged those interested in a manufacturing careers to focus on math and physical science classes. Additionally, he strongly recommended that all students take any class related to technology, since he anticipates that many future careers will require employees to be actively engaged in some form of digital technology.