MAKERSHiP Profile: Damone

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Damone Wills at the MAKERSHiP office in TechShop Pittsburgh

MAKERSHiP Participant Damone Wills

What brought you to the MAKERSHiP Project?

I had applied for the apprentice program at the Sheet Metal Union and I passed the test, but I didn’t have the skills necessary to qualify for an interview. They referred me to the MAKERSHiP so I could improve my skills.

My family is the reason I joined the program. I have a big family and I want to be able to support them. I’ve done landscaping and other types of work, but now I need a career. I think the skills I’ve learned in the MAKERSHiP will give me what I need to get into the Sheet Metal Union’s apprenticeship program.

What classes have you taken?

I took the sheet metal classes. I’ve also taken welding classes and I’ve really enjoyed that.  I’ve been working with another MAKERSHiP Participant, Johnny, who happens to be in the Sheet Metal Union and he’s been helping me work on my welding. I’ve also been working with another maker on the metal lathe so I can get more experience on that machine. I find it interesting that you can make just about any part you need on the metal lathe.

I’ve taken several classes focused on CNC: Concepts of CNC, CAD/CAM and Inventor. I took some computer programing classes a while back and I learned that some of these programs are based on that program I used to work with. The Tormach milling machine class and the 3D printing class were also fun.

What have you made? What do you plan to make?

I’ve always been making things and fixing things. I built a wall in my house and created a master bedroom in my basement. I even made the bed I sleep on! I’ve made some small projects in the classes I’ve taken, but mostly I’ve been practicing my welding skills.

How do you envision using the digital manufacturing skills you have learned through the MAKERSHiP Project in your career?

Getting into the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local #12 has been my goal and the MAKERSHiP Project has helped me to develop the skills I was missing. I’ve always tried to build and fix things and I have a neighbor who would always offer me help and advice. My neighbor is a member of the Sheet Metal Union and he encouraged me to try to join the apprenticeship program.

Because of the MAKERSHiP I’ve been able to come into TechShop and practice my welding and learn from other makers. I’ve also been able to explore many different types of machines and software classes I wouldn’t get access to in other programs.

I’m looking forward to my interview for the apprenticeship program!

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