Need a Little CNC Help From My Friends

By Lloyd Graff

Hans Peters needs some help. He recently bought a machining business with several late model Citizen CNC Swiss-type lathes. He has business, but his key setup and programming guy was the previous owner who temporarily stayed on to ease his path into the operation. But now he’s moving on shortly to run another company he owns, which leaves Hans in big need of a sophisticated CNC person to join his firm, M&M Specialties, in the small town of Greeneville, Tennessee, located between Knoxville and Nashville.

It’s not an area like the Twin Cities, or even Memphis or Puerto Rico, where you have a well established medical manufacturing complex that supports CNC training. So Hans figures he needs to import somebody. He has contacted three recruiters, but so far no cigar.

Even with 10 percent unemployment and 16 percent shadow unemployment (part-time workers looking for full-time work), it is hard to hire the type of skilled people Peters needs who will relocate.

Peters understands the rigors of relocating. His wife and young children are at the family home in Delaware where previously he had been in business with his three siblings. At 44 years old he wanted to run his own shop and spent close to a year looking for the right situation. He went into the precision machining business because he saw opportunity in the depth of a recession.

It was a gutsy call, especially for somebody who lacked the technical sophistication.

Hans Peters is 600 miles away from his family, and his programming lifeline is moving on. Is there anybody out there who can help?

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17 thoughts on “Need a Little CNC Help From My Friends


    Alemite LLC is in Johnson City, TN only a few miles away from Greeneville. We have Citizen lathes in house and I am the CNC programmer. Contact me at the above e-mail. I may be able to help you.

  2. Michael Goldman

    There are good machinist/programmers out there looking for work. A person with the qualifications and experience you require would require a salary around 80K. Many of the available candidates would not want to relocate for fear of the business failing. This may require an even higher salary to entice someone to relocate. If you are offering less than this, it could be the problem.

  3. Ron Lumsden

    I’ll do it. Let me know if you’d like my resume. 30+ years in CNC machining in many capacities. From sweeping the floor to running my own S corp. CNC shop.

  4. James R. Grosmann


    Hans needs to seriously consider joining the NTMA and the TN chapter of the NTMA. If you want, have him contact me about this. NTMA members can help out other members with all kinds of business problems such as this.

    James R. Grosmann
    NTMA Director of Sales and Marketing
    NTMA – Business Solutions for Metalworking Manufacturers
    Membership Doesn’t Cost….It Pays!

  5. Joe Crawford

    If you would like to contact me directly with some more details may be able to assist you in find some candidates. Have worked in this field for over 20 years with many different types of companies and suppliers. Some of them have had to let some of their more qualified help go due to economic times.

  6. Cheryl

    I’m looking for programmers for citizen screw machines too! Actually, since we’ve been looking for so long and found so few qualified people, I’ve become a little bit more flexible in my approach. More specifically, I’m looking for programs, I don’t really care if it’s my programmer, someone else’s, or even an independent source. If anyone has excess capacity, I’d love to pay for services where I send a drawing and pay for a program. Please email me if this kind of opportunity resonates with you or someone you know.

  7. wayne

    is there a way to broadcast to all of craigs list in the US also I think U tube has an employment section. What are his requirements and what is he paying? A lot of time it seems to me they want someone who can walk on water for min. wage I thank you for your effort to help out and do not want to sound negitive. I can understand somewhat the problem I am in eastern NC and had to leave metal cutting due to lack of jobs after 30 years. So I am very aware that there can be a problem with the right job at the right place.

  8. Noah Graff

    Not sure about all your questions, but as far as my understanding there is not a way to broadcast on all different craigslists. The key to craigslist is that it is supposed to be local. So you would have to post in each different city or area. I think that’s doable but they might flag people who post in a lot of different places. Although I don’t why they would.

  9. Paul VanRyn

    Skilled machine tools operator, with extensive experience programming, setting up, and running computer controlled machines. Utilizes experience and ingenuity to produce innovative tools, dies and molds. Able to repair and upgrade equipment as needed.
    BA and TMA trained. I have been out of work for a year, just email me.

  10. David M. Chenevert

    Explain to me how this individual is special and can solicit job positions through your magazine? I just paid $450.00 for a month ad on Career Builder’s. I work with head hunters and you give this guy free publicity and the rest of us who are in the same situation looking for good qualified labor gets a free plug. I purchase training through Master Task to train people. You want people…follow Dan Murphy’s lead or maybe you should of thought about it before buying the company. Find a good machinery dealer (REM Sales comes to mind….) to get support.
    If you want a magazine that talks about our industry rather than posting job ads try discussing the failure of trade schools to supply young applicants in the Swiss trade, the failure of States to support manufacturing, the failure of our government to inject incentive monies for training and manufacutring in general.
    I am personally outraged at this commentary from a “used” equipment dealer who obviously has no understanding that many Swiss houses are in the same boat. We deal with lack of qualified labor day in and day out. You get into this industry you should know how it functions. Owning a company and being successful in this economy is not for OJT(on the job training). OJT is for the people you hire!!!

  11. lloyd

    My goal in doing this story was to discuss a situation in which a guy new to the industry is dealing with a problem of interest to the community that we reach. More than 5000 people have opened this email. If Hans Peters finds somebody, so much the better but I was not acting as his recruiter. My agenda if I had one was to show the power of community. I did this a while back in a story about Doreen Koop who needed a fastener I had never heard of. In that case we got 30 replies of people looking to help in one way or another.
    Please keep reading. Today you don’t like me. Tomorrow, we may be in love.

  12. lloyd


    Thank goodness for Moneyball. I loved the Michael Lewis vignette about you taking the $100,000 signing bonus rather than taking the scholarship from Stanford, knowing deep in your heart you couldn’t hit the curve ball. And Oakland can’t even get to 500 these days. Billy, can I help you find a left handed second baseman?


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