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Kyle McKee

Kyle McKee JVS Graduate is Senior Draftsperson for Invacare

Kyle McKee, Computerized Design and Drafting, Class of: 2002
“I like to challenge myself,” stated Kyle McKee, a 22-year old Avon Lake resident.

How’s this for a challenge?

…Teaching Chinese draftspersons on the other side of the world how to use technical software.

Even before graduating from the JVS Computerized Design and Drafting program in June 2002, McKee had landed a job at Invacare, a leading manufacturer of
wheelchairs, respiratory products and other home health care products. At Invacare, McKee is known as the “China Guy,” since he provides support and training for the company’s draftspersons working overseas.

“Recently, I’ve been training employees working at our facility in Suzhou, China to use our Product Data Management software. It’s a system that manages huge databases of CAD files,” stated McKee.

McKee is able to manage the necessary daily communication with his counterparts in China primarily through e-mails.

It’s a far cry from the days when his interest in mechanical things began as a youngster ripping apart clock radios, telephones and almost anything else he could get his hands on.

After his family relocated from their native Rochester, New York to Avon Lake during McKee’s freshman year in high school, he found himself floundering a bit academically. “I went from being a straight A student to not liking school at all,” he said. “My grades suffered.”

He started taking drafting classes at Avon Lake High School and became motivated again when he learned that the JVS offered a program in Computerized Design and Drafting. He made the decision to go to the JVS his junior year and never looked back.

“Being at the JVS was a little strange at first because there weren’t many other students from Avon Lake,” he said. “It was almost like starting over. However, you spend a big part of your day with the same people in your lab and classes, so you develop new relationships quickly.”

His math, science and English classes at the JVS were designed to be applicable to his trade. For example, McKee worked on building bridges in science class to help him understand the load they could hold before breaking.

He started working at Invacare between his junior and senior year on a summer internship. By the time he was a senior at the JVS, McKee was taking classes in the morning and working afternoons at Invacare. “I graduated with a year’s experience in my field and I was only 18,” he confirmed. “Invacare offered me a full time drafting position before I received my diploma.”

Today he works at the company’s North Ridgeville facility as a senior draftsperson. His work involves using computer aided design software to create assembly drawings, modeling parts, and part drawings. The CAD models can be used for everything from stress analysis to determining the finished weight of a product.

“The JVS provided me with a tremendous opportunity,” McKee affirmed. “It gave me a strong career advantage over most students graduating from high school. I have a stable job with good pay and I love what I do.”

“The JVS was an excellent educational foundation for my career,” he said in retrospect. McKee also speaks highly about the iron-clad guarantee that follows all JVS graduates. The guarantee states that if a graduate fails to meet an employer’s expectation in a given competency area, he can return to the JVS for additional training. “I’ve never had to use that, but I think it’s reassuring to employers,” stated McKee.

McKee continues to look to the future. Besides being an avid fisherman who likes to tinker with computers in his spare time, he’s also working on an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Design at Lorain County Community College. He has his sights set on becoming an engineer.

“I’m always up for a challenge.”
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