At Reata Engineering, we’re always looking forward. There’s no such thing as “good enough” at our Colorado machine shop—as soon as we get comfortable, we ask ourselves what we can do next.
This mentality is central to everything we do, from maintaining a summer internship program to giving shop tours to competing precision machine shops (yes, you read that right).
In the years of putting our shop out there and chasing the next evolution of manufacturing technology, we’ve realized something fundamental about our industry:
The growth of the contract manufacturing industry requires participation from every machine shop—including yours.
3 Ways Our Precision Machine Shop Contributes to the Greater Good
Machine shops like Reata can’t thrive when we stay within the four walls of our shop. To grow, we must build relationships with our community, other machine shops, and the next generation of machinists.
However, it’s not always about how we improve our own shop. Often, we focus more on what will push the manufacturing industry forward and who in our community we can help the most. We hope you’ll do the same.
But we believe in leading by example. So, instead of telling you to participate, we’ll show you the three ways Reata gets involved and why:
1. We’re involved in the local community
Anyone familiar with Reata knows that our President, Grady Cope, is the backbone of our company. Grady is at the core of Reata’s “lead by example” philosophy and is involved in numerous organizations in our community.
Grady credits much of his personal success to his participation in organizations like the Rocky Mountain NTMA, the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Association (CAMA), and his current position on the board of the National Institute for Metalworking Services.
He also serves on several advisory boards for local STEM-centric schools and frequently speaks on panel discussions. When manufacturing-related issues come up in the local legislature, Grady lobbies for the future of the industry.
The rest of the leadership team has taken up the torch, especially Reata’s Director of Operations, Christina Collette. Christina is the CAMA Board Chair, leads the Emerging Leaders group of the Rocky Mountain NMTA, and serves on an advisory board for a local high school’s innovation campus.
“Getting involved in your community returns so many rewards,” Grady said. “The universe opens its arms to you. To people who say they don’t have time, I say you don’t have time not to. You need to participate if you want anything back.”
2. We support the next generation of manufacturers
Modern manufacturing is sleek, technical, and downright exciting at advanced shops like Reata. However, the lingering stigma around the industry dissuades many students from entering the manufacturing workforce. Reata is determined to change the narrative and create pathways into the industry.
In addition to our leadership’s involvement on school advisory boards and career panels, Reata hires 10-15 interns every summer for a three-month crash course in precision machining. We foster their interest in the industry, help them join associations, and hire them or connect them with jobs at other machine shops.
We also deliver presentations to local college classes and offer shop tours to middle and high school classes to spark their interest early.
More broadly, Reata sponsors several robotics competitions, including the National Robotics League of Colorado. We also have booths at local college events like the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Manufacturing Day.
To lessen the impact of the oncoming labor shortage, it’s vital that manufacturers join Reata in sharing the modern manufacturing experience with students and young adults. Getting the next generation involved in what we do is a group effort.
3. We collaborate with other precision machine shops
At Reata, we’ve always championed transparency and innovation. As a future-focused machine shop, we aim to use the newest technology and stay ahead of the curve. We offer shop tours to give other machine shops the opportunity to ask questions about our technology and programs, see the latest technology in action, and receive candid answers on what’s working and what’s not worth investing in.
Conversely, we often benchmark our shop against other shops that are performing well. Measuring our products, services, and processes against a competitor’s success reveals areas for improvement.
We strive to be a shop that other companies can benchmark themselves against—the key is creating an open dialogue around improvements and making it a mutually beneficial relationship.
When we consider other machine shops as part of our team instead of our competition, we can all grow together instead of each facing similar setbacks in isolation (we all know how tough that can be).
The idea of pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of your precision machine shop is daunting. However, each shop has its own specialty and customer base. We’ll benefit more if we combine our experiences, knowledge, and perspectives to strengthen the future of our industry.
After all, within the four walls of our precision machine shops, our growth is only as high as our ceiling. Step outside, and it becomes limitless.
Join Reata in Getting Involved in Your Manufacturing Community
Our biggest takeaway from decades of involvement in our community is that you get more than you give. Our participation has led to much of Reata’s success, directly or indirectly.
In some cases, we end up hiring an exemplary employee from our summer internship program. In others, the perspective Grady shares at a NIMS board meeting helps them create a product that benefits Reata—and every other machine shop, too.
But as always, Grady says it best:
“If I could leave any legacy, it would be that you have to participate. For the sake of yourself, your company, and your community…get involved.”
To collaborate with Reata or find ways to get involved in your community, call us at 303-936-1350 or fill out our contact form.