For Rich Gebhardt, Sharing the Knowledge is What It’s All About

In 2006, Rich Gebhardt walked through the Laser Precision door for the first time. His buddy was a welder at the company, and he made an introduction. After a little vocational training at the College of Lake County, Rich started putting time in at Laser Precision.

17 years later, our 2nd Shift Production Manager is a vital part of Laser Precision’s success.

A Day Night in the Life

Part of the fun of being at the helm of the second shift, Rich says, is that no two shifts are the same. “Walk in, check email, see if there are any problem parts to know about. Run scheduling, then training, training, training.”

Rich is the first official manager of the second shift, and he’s taken the responsibility seriously. He’s there to help out however he can, eager to teach and take people under his wing. He’s been reading the tea leaves, and he can see that some sophisticated, high-tolerance parts could be coming in the near future. “When that wave hits, we’re going to be ready. Both with new, even more sophisticated equipment and a team who knows how to use it.”

The Best Part of the Job

The teaching and training Rich does isn’t just for show. It’s his favorite part of working at Laser Precision. “Being able to give knowledge to people who are willing to learn it, there’s nothing like it,” he said. “They absorb like a sponge, and if they do it often enough they’ll one day ascend to my position. It’s fun to make their work lives a little easier just by teaching.”

When workers are equipped and instilled with confidence to perform, it leads to what makes Laser Precision better than anyone in the business: our ability to make the right number of good parts, safely and on time. “That’s present in the second shift for sure,” Rich said. “Well over 99% of our deliveries are on time, less than 200 PPM. Our customers know they get a quality product on time.”

Rich touted the computer system at Laser Precision that organizes everything in the process: due dates, job duration, how many parts are needed, and plenty more. Customers are connected to the system too, so they can make changes if needed.

Rich’s Best Work at Laser Precision

We asked Rich what work he’s proudest of, and he quickly answered the CNC machine department. “I started in welding, then learned turret punching, sawing, using the press brakes. All 2nd shift while going to school. Then I moved to CNC machining because I like to make parts for myself.”

“Machining is what I respond to the most because of its accuracy and consistency. And it’s pretty much limitless what you can learn as long as you’re open to it and put in the time.”

The Passion Project: RC Racing

Back when Rich was a kid, he got bit by a bug that still hasn’t left him: a passion for radio controlled racing. “In 2005, while I was in high school, I got the chance to take vocational training at the community college,” he said. “I was building an RC car and getting frustrated that no one had the upgrades I wanted.”

Naturally, like a true Laser Precision lifer, he decided to make the upgrades himself. He learned CNC machining and blueprint reading, learned CAD/CAM and learned to design his own fixtures. “I mostly focus on RC cars, but I make boats, drones and planes too. I have trouble turning my brain off, so I try to stay busy and have a hobby for every season.”

Want to Launch Your Career? Work at Laser Precision.

Whether first shift or second shift, working here is more than a job. It’s a career that compensates you well and gives you tasks that fill the soul. Browse our open positions and apply today.