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Article: Chris Farr Takes Classroom Lab Skills to Propel His Career

Chris Farr Takes Classroom Lab Skills to Propel His Career

Chris Farr

Christopher Farr, a senior in the Lorain County JVS Precision Machine Technology class and from Midview High School, worked as a machinist in the Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division at Parker Hannifin Corporation in Avon.

Parker Hannifin is a Fortune 300 Company, with 60,000 employees producing nearly a million different products. The Aircraft Wheel and Brake Division is part of Parker Aerospace, an operating group of Parker Hannifin, which creates products for both commercial and military aircraft.

The opportunity for Chris to work at Parker started last November when Annette McIver, JVS Career Services Specialist, reached out to Tamara Hagerty, Human Resources Manager at Parker, to nurture the partnership between the JVS and the company. In February of 2019, Parker Aerospace sent Jeff Peters, Division Lean & EHS Manager, and Dennis Richards, Operations Manager, to the JVS to talk to our manufacturing students about opportunities for employment at the Avon plant. Chris Farr introduced himself and made such a great impression with them, they called him for an interview!

After a successful interview, Chris had to undergo a full government background check and security clearance, which included hair testing to ensure that he is drug and alcohol free. The entire process took several weeks. Chris was then offered a position with a highly competitive wage.

As a Summer Intern, Chris worked 40 hours per week during the summer at Parker Aerospace machining airplane parts. He started work early every day, working from 6:00 am until 2:30 pm. Chris didn’t mind the early hours as there was no traffic on the way to work. He said he arrived to work on time to have a cup of coffee with his fellow machinists before starting the day. Chris told us, “I absolutely loved working with the company. The machinist team was very helpful and very friendly.”

Chris did an excellent job in his Summer Internship position according to Ryan Lloyd, Production Team Leader, Aircraft Wheel and Brake. “As the production team leader, we enjoyed our first experience partnering with LCJVS and providing Chris a place to learn and grow as a machinist. Chris fit in very quickly with our production team and used his time here to gain as much knowledge as possible from our experienced machinists. Chris demonstrated a great work ethic and eagerness to work and learn as many machine cells and products as he could in his short time here. We gave Chris an opportunity to complete several machining tasks in two and a half months, and he was able to keep up and provide us with a valuable resource during a very busy time. We are looking forward to having Chris back this fall, on a part time basis, as he continues his development and education as a machinist with the JVS and Parker Hannifin. Hosting Chris was a great experience and opportunity for Parker Hannifin, and it has been our privilege to assist in the development of the next generation of machinists.” 

Chris used Haas, Mazak and Tsugami CNC machines to build parts for the Predator B (Drone), V-22 Osprey (tilt rotor aircraft), and General Aviation products. He also used manual drill presses to complete reaming, the process of boring out a hole in a piece of metal. Chris’ work was so precise that his tolerances were at .0001. His parts were checked by employees in various departments in layered audits to ensure they were perfect. Chris’ entire department worked together to complete projects. Chris had to sign off on every job he worked on. He said, “That was my own footprint of my career so far.”

As an intern, Chris sometimes had to do machining jobs that no one else in his department wanted. He didn’t mind that either. “That’s still knowledge I gained that the company taught me that no one else would have. I can put that on my resume.” 

John Green, Instructor of the Precision Machine Technology class at the JVS, had nothing but praise for Chris. "It was no surprise to me that Chris performed very well during his internship with the company. Chris is always excited when he has the opportunity to learn new skills. I am proud to say Chris is a model PMT and JVS student, and has shown respect and maturity beyond his years."

Parker Aerospace has already offered him a placement for this school year. Chris plans to stay at Parker and work his way through college. He plans to pursue a degree in Manufacturing Engineering at either Lorain County Community College or Akron University.

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The Lorain County Joint Vocational School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities, and provides equal access to the Boys Scouts and other designated youth groups. © 2019. The Lorain County Joint Vocational School District. All Rights Reserved.