JOHN BUETTLER: Not everybody has a job out there. And if they do have a job, they're not doing something that they really are passionate about and they like to do. This is a dream for me.
When I hit 30, my mantra became life is too short, and that's applied to all areas of my life, including my job. And I've always wanted to work with my hands, always wanted to create and build. So the fact that I actually get to do that every day is immensely satisfying.
I get to come into work and be genuinely excited about what I'm about to do. I am a machinist. So what that means is I am essentially a metal worker.
[HAMMERING, MACHINERY WHIRRING]
I use various different machines to shape metal into different parts for various different projects that come into this company.
Some of the things that I'm making are directly beneficial to the rest of the world. I've worked on projects that contribute to free renewable energy for the entire world. Two years ago, I would've never thought that I was going to be working on a project for a particle accelerator. We've done things for NASA, Oak Ridge National Lab, NIST, ITER, the thermonuclear energy reactor over in France. That is just so cool.
This particular project that I'm working on is very, very high-precision. It's actually the most difficult thing that I've ever had to make here. This makes me proud of myself, but also the place that I work at-- that we're making these sorts of things, that we have these sorts of partnerships. It's awesome that we have a partnership with Cornell.
Prior to moving up here, I had no, really, knowledge of Cornell. I mean, I knew, of course, that they existed, but never had any sort of relationship with them before. The project I'm working on right now, I've met the project lead. And he and I have actually spoken many, many times, and he's visited here. And we know each other at this point. It really does directly benefit my life to have an institution like Cornell backing us, because it's rocky times. We don't necessarily know where the next contract is coming from, and that's not just us. That's everybody.
Since I've been here, it's become a place that I've grown very attached to. Institutions like Cornell invest in the community. Cornell is showing people like myself who want to switch careers or want a second chance-- maybe even a third chance-- that this is accessible to be a part of something bigger than myself. Not just the things that I put out or the projects or the parts that I make, but to be actively a part of bettering the community around me has been immensely mentally gratifying.
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Watch how a machinist in upstate New York found his calling–and his community. It's just one example of how Cornell is fueling job creation across the state.