Jason Ming’s Path to Success: Like It, Learn It, Master It
July 24, 2017
Production/Engineering Manager Jason Ming joined us right from high school via a temporary agency in 1995. Young and ambitious, is first jobs involved laser cutting and machining, which was about all the company did at the time. He had always liked making things and found the manufacturing environment very attractive. He immediately set out to learn all he could about each process and piece of machinery in the shop.
Building a Foundation of Knowledge
He took home books and manuals and taught himself everything he could. He then enrolled in every technical course that the College of Lake County offered: CNC machining, machine tools, welding, turning, grinding, CAD, etc. When he had absorbed everything the school could teach him about metalworking and his craft, he was happy to move on and began to apply his knowledge at Laser Precision.
Ready for Growth
Jason’s next step was to combine his book knowledge with practical experience. With each new piece of technology we brought into the shop, Jason was ahead of the curve and already proficient so he could teach best practices to others for maximum efficiency and productivity. The company was small enough then that he could switch from machine to machine, honing his skills until he had mastered each process in the plant. Jason never waited for an invitation. He would see a need, jump in and find a solution.
As the company experienced a growth spurt, Jason was able to balance all his manufacturing skills and fill in wherever the need was greatest – something he still does to this day. His favorite task was running the CNC machines, since it took some thought to do well. Plus, he just thinks they are cool.
Jason soon became a line manager and started acting as a mentor to new operators, giving them the advantage of his knowledge and experience. As part of the process, he is always careful to explain the “why” as well as the “how” so they can see that each operation has an element of art as well as skill involved in it. Jason finds that his understanding of a process increases with each conversation as well. As a result of his training, several of the employees Jason hired right out of high school now hold management positions at Laser Precision.
Today, Jason manages the Engineering Department and acts as the Welding Engineer, CNC Programmer and Purchasing Manager. “As a manager, a lot of people want a piece of your time,” he said. “You have to be disciplined and structured to manage everything and still stay calm.”
Jason is a marathoner and triathlete, who recently qualified for the Boston Marathon. He is now getting into ultra sports and has an Ironman Triathlon on his “to do” list. It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.
With all the demands on his life from work and athletics, Jason finds his center though the practice of yoga. After 200 hours of training, he is certified to teach Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches, of which physical yoga postures are merely one branch. The other include focus on breathing, concentration and deep meditation among others. It is one of the more physically challenging forms of yoga. Many of his students are marathon runners and triathletes who incorporate the focus on breath learned from Jason to enhance their performance.
Jason also continues to study on his own any topic that interests him. He is currently reading books on yoga, fitness, running and nutrition as well as history.