His Future is no Fabrication. . . JVS Grad is Project Manager at Qual-Fab
Lewis Fraam , Computerized Design and Drafting, Class of: 2011
Security escorts and road closures are usually reserved for presidential visits and holiday parades.
But the components designed by Lewis Fraam attract a lot of attention, too, especially when these large objects are moving through neighborhoods, often bound for worldwide destinations.
"Many of our products require police escorts, adjusting power lines and closing roads, much like moving a house," said Fraam, a Project Manager at Qual-Fab Inc. in Avon, which supplies stainless and high nickel fabrications to the steel and metal industries.
Fraam, a 2011 Lorain County JVS graduate, learned his trade through the school's Computerized Design and Drafting (CDD) Program.
Just weeks after graduating, the Sheffield Village resident was hired by Qual-Fab as a draftsman and promoted to project manager just five months later - all before his twentieth birthday.
How does the youngest project manager in Qual-Fab's history handle the pressure?
"It can be very stressful," Fraam admits, "The biggest project I've worked on so far cost about a half million dollars. I work with other project managers much older than me, but they have made me feel welcome, taking me under their wings and helping me."
Fraam's duties include preparing blueprints, contracting with machine shops, ordering materials, "and most importantly, staying on budget," he said.
"I also use the problem solving skills I learned at the JVS on a daily basis," stated Fraam.
One of his recent projects included supplying an international client in the heating industry with muffles, which are manufactured to tight tolerances and vary in length from 1 foot to 100 feet. Placed inside huge steel furnaces, muffles harden things such as auto parts and ball bearings, Fraam said.
Fraam is also creating pressure vessel tanks for the food processing industry. The stainless steel tanks are more than 30-feet tall and hold 11,000 gallons of liquid polymer plastic used to produce the plastic rings found inside of bottle caps.
Fraam said that he is grateful that his JVS training provided him with the credentials necessary to find gainful employment immediately after graduation.
When time permits, Fraam plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Lorain County Community College, where he has already taken some courses.
"I'm the first in my family to attend college and I'm going to return," Fraam said. "But right now my job is keeping me pretty busy. Each project is a learning experience, too."
Fraam said that he is glad for the job security that Qual-Fab provides, but he also desires to own a business someday.
"My father is an entrepreneur, it's in my blood," he said.
And whatever Fraam does, he knows that his parents, Louis and Deanna, will be there to support him.
Said Deanna Fraam: "So many people can't afford higher education. But in just two years at the JVS, my son has accomplished something that would take four-to-six years of college. Qual-Fab was very impressed with his credentials, but without the support and guidance he received at the JVS, I know that Lewis would not have gotten this opportunity."