Justin Ettinger

  • Tool & Die Maker ApprenticePrecision Tooling & Production Metal Stamping
  • CTE Inc. & Member of the Composidie GroupYork, PA

Please tell us about what do you do and how long you have been doing it.

I started my manufacturing career at a small metal stamping company. I worked there for three years as a press operator prior to joining CTE in the same capacity. Since then I had the opportunity to get into CTE’s apprenticeship program. I am now in year three of a five-year Tool & Die Maker apprenticeship.

How did you get into your career in manufacturing?

When I moved to Pennsylvania, I was hired as a press operator by CTE. My supervisor took note of my work ethics and mechanical aptitude which led to discussions about the Manufacturers’ Association’s Apprenticeship program. I took several courses related to the trade on my own time. The incentive I exhibited along with my good grades convinced my supervisor to recommend me for the apprenticeship to his superiors.

How would you describe a typical day at work?

I make tooling for stamping dies. I get plenty of experience on a wide variety of equipment. I may be on a lathe or on a surface grinder making tooling one day or hand working form tooling with a fine stone under a microscope the next.

What do you love most about what you do for your job?

The people I work with they are skilled individuals who generally are easy going with a good sense of humor. I am addicted to the feeling I get when I do something extremely difficult and it comes out perfect. Having the ability to make things I need for personal projects instead of paying someone else is a real plus.