Hey guys and gals, I figured for my first official blog post it would be a good idea to let you in on my life and background. So, here it goes!
If you don't know already, my name is Jake Yates, and I'm the founder and owner of Yates Precision Manufacturing. I grew up in Waynesburg, a small town in Southwestern Pennsylvania. My dad teaches Junior High Science, and my mom is a Pharmacist. I was, and still am, a big fan of soccer, and I was a wrestler as well.
After High School I attended Rochester Institute of Technology in Upstate New York, where I would eventually get my Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at RIT I played soccer on the Varsity team. It's funny, because RIT has a very nice machine shop with both CNC and manual machines, but while there I really had no idea what machining was, and took no interest in it. I thought I wanted to be a design engineer (Yuckk), which happen to be the engineers that I curse on a daily basis now. (No offense to any design engineers that may be reading this. I still love you, just quit putting such ridiculous tolerances on dimensions that really don't matter.)
Anyways, I graduated from RIT in 2011, and moved back home to Waynesburg. Shortly after moving home, I met my wife, Ashley. She had just graduated High School (cradle robber), and must have been too young and naïve to realize what she was getting herself into.
I got my first full-time job a couple months after graduation, and boy was it a long way from what I thought I'd be doing. My first job as a mechanical engineer, get this, was as a Maintenance Foreman at an underground coal mine! So, I spent two and a half years going 1000 feet underground everyday, swinging shifts, and getting dirty. While its not something I wanted to do the rest of my life, and there were days that I really hated it, I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. First off, coal mining equipment is some of the most impressive and technologically advanced machinery I've ever been around. And secondly, after you spend almost three years freezing in the winter, sweating in the summer, working weekends and holidays, doing hard manual labor, and putting your life at risk every day everything else in life after that seems pretty easy. I have a lot of respect for the guys and ladies that continue to do that day in and day out, year after year, and for them, I'm grateful.
Well, it only took me a few years to realize I didn't want to be a coal miner for the rest of my life, and that industry was in constant turmoil, so I was ready for a career change. Two of my good friends from college were working at an aerospace company just outside of Ithaca, NY, and were looking to add an engineer to their team. So, Ashley, our dog Mia, and I packed up and moved to the Finger Lakes. We lived in Ithaca for three years. While there, Ashley finished her Business Degree at Ithaca College and began working at Cornell, we got married, and I worked for the aerospace company, manufacturing turbine blades and vanes for power generation engines. Most of the work I was doing was Wire EDM and Grinding. We absolutely loved the Finger Lakes area, but we got news that we would be adding to our family so decided it would be best to move back home to be close to our families.
After a bit of searching, I found the company that I currently work for and was offered a job as a Manufacturing Engineer, so we moved back to Waynesburg. It has been this job that really opened my eyes to CNC machining and manufacturing. I can truly say I'm one of those people who loves his job and looks forward to going to work every day. We manufacture medical implants, and I get to program some of the most advanced CNC machine-tools available. In September of 2016 we had our first son, Landon.
In June of 2017 I decided to pursue my dream and start my own business. My first piece of equipment was a Grizzly lathe, and I actually made wedding bands for people for awhile. Then, in August of 2018, I purchased my first CNC mill, a '93 Mori Seiki MV40B. This mill actually ran for 20+ years at my current employers before they sold it to the guy I would eventually buy it off of. Shortly after buying the mill we had our second son, Lincoln. Fun fact, our sons were born on the exact same day, two years apart!
I've spent the last few months fixing some small issues with the machine and taking on some job shop work here and there. The machine is now 100% functional and in incredible shape. I have a good feeling about 2019, as I'm planning on releasing my own product (the Safety Razor), take on more job shop work, and continue my great partnership with American Putter Company!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the support!