Feature Friday – Amphayvanh “Pao” Ounechith
I’m from Laos, the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. I came to the United States 18 years ago and wasn’t quite sure where to begin. A friend of mine told me about Stuller and the great opportunities it provided its associates. So, I went to school in St. Martinville (a small city along Bayou Teche) where they taught me how to polish. Once I had learned the technique, I applied at Stuller.
I started off on the night shift in the polishing area but eventually moved to the day shift. Stuller was in transition then, doing away with a complete polishing area but moving the act of polishing across a couple of different areas. That was a good thing in disguise. Because there wasn’t enough work for everyone in polishing, I transferred into the Die Striking — part of the Metal Fabrication area where I’ve been ever since. That was about 11 years ago.
I love my job and feel I’m very good at what I do. I work in the v-head cell. I run primary on the power presses, strike/form, swage, tack and flow all v-heads. And we are always busy, which is also something I love about working in this area. I’ve seen many new designs and a lot of new technology come through our area as well. New things keep us on our toes.
Our customers keep me inspired at work. I come back each day to keep our customers happy by getting the work that we need to get done, done. I focus hard on my job and try my best every day to send out the perfect product the first time, every time.
When I’m not at Stuller, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends. This is very important to the Laos culture. My favorite memories surround times I’m able to travel back to my home country and visit my family. We try and make the most out of each visit because we are never sure when we’ll get to see each other again. During my last trip, we had a huge gathering with the entire family from around the world and had a blessing. Just being with my entire family meant so much.