Sam Eiben has the tools for success, and if he needs a new tool, he can just make it.
Eiben comes from Bowling Green High School, by way of the Penta Career Center. He will graduated from the Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Industrial Automation Systems programs, where he learned to be a tool and die maker.
“A die is almost like a cookie cutter,” Eiben said. “It’s just a bunch of big machines in there that I find really interesting and I enjoy the math behind it.”
He now works for Centaur Tool and Die in Bowling Green. He likes to see a die that he created turn out a part that in turn, makes something else.
“At Penta, they gave me the set-up for success,” Eiben said. “I decided that I wanted to make myself marketable to the job market and maybe not go the traditional path to a four-year school. I thought I would go to Penta and get myself a trade. Even if I don’t stick with that trade, I figured I’d have something that could pay for my school.”
Eiben really has two jobs. In addition to his position at Centaur Tool & Die, he is also a volunteer firefighter with the Central Joint Fire District.
He works 15-20 hours a week at Centaur Tool and Die as a tool and die maker. That has also been affected by the various COVID-19 shutdowns. Because of the essential nature of some of the businesses they make parts for, they have recently been doing some work at the shop. Because they do mostly automotive related work, they lost most of their business when the Big 3 auto companies shut down their plants.
Now they are supplying Unverferth Manufacturing, making parts for plows and other large agricultural tools. Because the work is farm related it’s considered essential business.
He used to run track, but with virtual school the season was canceled. His SkillsUSA competition was also canceled.
Eiben has a 4.0 grade point average, but didn’t plan on going to college. He wanted to become self-sufficient and make money. It turns out that the skills he learned at making tools have also helped him build his resume for his next round of education.
After graduation he plans on becoming a full-time firefighter/paramedic and earn a degree through the Owens Community College Emergency Services Tech program. However, with his tool and die skills he won’t have to take out student loans.
He will be earning a living as a tool and die maker and volunteer firefighter.
His interest in becoming a first responder is leading him there. Last winter he took a 30-hour state certification course to be a firefighter. He passed the course and loves the work.
That Owens Community College course has led to an entirely new direction with his life, but he gives credit to Penta for getting him there.
“It’s kind of like a second job. We’re just guys with normal jobs,” Eiben said. “I actually learned a lot more about dies once I began working, but Penta really set me up for success by teaching me the basics.”