From Novice to Expert: Griffin’s Journey as a CNC Machine Operator
Griffin Siroky, a 26-year-old, has been making significant progress at his workplace, Classic Wire Cut, since being hired as a CNC Machine Operator shortly after graduating from the Uniquely Abled Academy (UAA).
Griffin’s immediate responsibilities when starting at CWC were overseeing parts on a few CNC EDM machines, which entails loading a mechanical part on a fixture, inspecting it, and sending it off. He oversaw these parts for just two months before being assigned more responsibility. Now after a year, Griffin is proud to say that he now manages 70 to 80 parts on the machines and maintains a full circuit.
First thing in the morning is assessing all the machines he oversees and determining if any of them need maintenance. His main expertise, however, is with the robotic arm that is programmed to feed the machines a specific spring. It is Griffin’s job to oversee the robot arm and fix it when it is down or load parts it may need. He is currently training fellow employees to be able to work on the robotic arm.
Even with all of Griffin’s success, that is not to say he did not need to face and overcome challenges. The biggest obstacle at first was learning how to best communicate with his fellow coworkers and supervisors. It took time and effort to reach a place where everyone could understand one another. Every person communicates differently, so Griffin learned that it was about asking the right questions. Everyone has something that they are working to overcome or living with, and for Griffin it was understanding and working with being bipolar. “This is a success story for me given time, hard work, dedication, and patience. No matter the barrier you have, you can do anything you want contrary to what people might say,” Griffin states.
“This is a success story for me given time, hard work, dedication, and patience. No matter the barrier you have, you can do anything you want contrary to what people might say.” – Griffin
Another obstacle for Griffin, was when he had to battle the barriers that would surface due to being on the spectrum. Since many of the UAA classes he was enrolled in were impacted by Covid-19, there weren’t many opportunities to work with others on the spectrum in similar jobs. All the more reason Griffin knew that learning to communicate with his current colleagues and asking the right questions was imperative to be an effective employee. Through patience and perseverance, he transformed these challenges into opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Even with the challenges Griffin had to face, he absolutely loves the work he does as a CNC machine operator and the people he can do it with. Being quite talkative, Griffin is social by nature and takes great joy out of being able to interact with his coworkers every day. “I’m excited to go to work to see what adventure I go through or what joke I can tell. I’ve never had a job where I’m this excited to go until now,” says Griffin.
“I’m excited to go to work to see what adventure I go through or what joke I can tell. I’ve never had a job where I’m this excited to go until now.” – Griffin
While Griffin loves the work he does for CWC, it certainly was not what he envisioned! Griffin has a passion for singing and theater and has always envisioned himself being a performer. He has participated in community theater on and off since 2010 and absolutely loves to be on stage. While this is a dream he hopes to make happen one day, Griffin realizes that making a living this way is very difficult. Instead, he wanted to prioritize stability and owning a home through a steady job. While being a performer is the dream job, he still has it as a hobby and knows he is happy where he is.
Griffin’s journey serves as a reminder that neurodiversity brings unique perspectives and talents that can enrich the workforce and contribute to innovation and success.
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