Manufacturing Month Q&A: Alex Loper
Manufacturing Day takes place annually on the first Friday in October and is aimed at inspiring young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. The celebration is extended throughout the month of October as Manufacturing Month.
We’re sharing the unique roles and perspectives of those currently working in the industry to show young people the possibilities in manufacturing. Like Alex Loper, owner of Loper Machine. We sat down with him to talk about what inspired him to explore a career in manufacturing.
Q: What do you do?
Alex: I’m the owner of Loper Machine.
Q: What’s your professional background?
Alex: I began my professional career as an entry-level manual machinist at a plastic injection molding facility. I was mentored by a journeyman manual machinist for two years. Then, I directed my attention to a CNC milling machine that no one else in the company knew how to run. I figured out how to program and run the machine on my own, that’s when I decided to further my machining capabilities and transitioned to an aerospace machine shop. I spent four years working and learning on lathes, horizontal mills, and 5-axis mill turns. During this time I also became efficient in designing and programming with Mastercam. I was then presented with an opportunity to work for a large corporation, which I pursued. My time at this company was spent taking on many leadership roles. With my longevity in this career and relentless strive for perfection I ventured out and started my own company, Loper Machine.
Q: What’s your academic background?
Alex: I’m a high school graduate.
Q: Why manufacturing? Why did you choose this industry?
Alex: I looked up to my brother, who became a machinist after graduating from Williamson Trade School.
Q: What advice do you have for people wanting to pursue a career in manufacturing?
Alex: Check out Titans of CNC Academy. Small groups are everywhere. Also, try and find an internship or trade school. Make an investment in a hobbyist CNC machine, like a Tormach. Also, check out Youtube, there is so much accessible free education.
Q: What was your first job?
Alex: My very first job was working at Mcdonald’s.
Q: If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be?
Alex: Titan Gilroy or Elon Musk.
Q: What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
Alex: An astronaut; isn’t that every kid’s dream?
Q: Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?
Alex: My big brother Shawn.