ANN ARBOR, MI — Victor Reinz has named its Victor Reinz Machinist of the Year.
Along with the AERA and the ASE, Clevite Engine Parts established the Victor Reinz Machinist of the Year Award in order to recognize the valuable contributions machinists make to the automotive rebuilding industry. This year’s award was presented at the AERA New Products Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev. on April 23, 2004.
Gary Askins, a machinist for more than 23 years, has been selected as this year’s Machinist of the Year. Askins currently works as the shop foreman for Spa Automotive Supply in Saratoga Springs, NY. His work as a machinist began in his youth, while helping his grandfather who owned a welding shop in his hometown and through his involvement in vocational training classes offered in high school.
“I fell in love with metal work, especially lathe work, during my VOTEC classes in high school,“ said Askins. “I gravitated to the machine shop and enjoyed the project work, particularly repairing parts and tools that the automotive shop students broke and making them useful for them again.”
Askins’ experience as a student in his high school’s VOTEC program remains a driving force for him today, as he serves as a mentor for many automotive and machining students in his area through the very program that propelled him in his career.
“I feel that my involvement with the VOTEC program is among one of my greatest accomplishments,” said Askins. “Just knowing that in some way I may be responsible for planting a seed of knowledge in students starting their career or helping students by offering them an internship, allows me to pass along what I have learned to future generations.”
“When I learned that Gary had been selected as this year’s Victor Reinz Machinist of the Year, I felt that it was conclusive of what he does here at Spa Automotive Supply every day and every year,” said Brian Pisarski, owner of Spa Automotive Supply.
The judges stated that Askins’ outstanding work history and letters of recommendation included with his application, along with his involvement in his local VOTEC program, made him the clear choice for this year’s award. Upon hearing of his selection, Askins thanked Clevite Engine Parts for its recognition. “It is amazing to be part of this fine brotherhood of machinists,” stated Askins. “Receiving this prestigious award has made the long haul of my career and what I have achieved worth it. Thank you to Clevite Engine Parts for this outstanding honor.”
To be eligible for the award, a machinist needs to be a full-time employee of a machine shop specializing in either automotive or heavy-duty engine work. The machinist also needs to be ASE certified in one of three specialist classifications – Cylinder Head Specialist, Cylinder Block Specialist or Engine Assembly Specialist. The judges then take into consideration the applicants’ special machining skills and training along with their level of community involvement and their ability to represent the industry in a positive manner.
The Victor Reinz Machinist of the Year Award consists of an all-expense paid trip to the AERA Showcase, $500 in spending money, a custom Victor Reinz jacket and a commemorative plaque.
Information on the Machinist of the Year Award can be found on the Clevite Engine Parts Web site: www.engineparts.com.
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