At Age 50, A New Career In Manufacturing

Melindathee Griffin was was nearly 50 years old when she embarked upon a new career – in manufacturing.

From TMA’s August 2016 News Bulletin:

Melindathee Griffin, 50, worked at various jobs in banking, accounting and pharmacy technology while she raised her four nowadult children. She’d never thought about a career in manufacturing until one day a lady from Bethel New Life walked into the Walgreens where she was working.

“She was there to drop off some film from a recent graduation of Bethel New Life Advanced Manufacturing trainees,” Griffin told News Bulletin, “and she was very excited about the program.”

The next time Elayne Nickolaou – who at the time was Bethel New Life’s Director of Education – came into Walgreens, Melindathee had decided she wanted to hear more.

“I wasn’t happy where I was, and I was interested in something new,” Melindathee said. Before long she was in TMA’s six month program learning milling and turning. She started at Atlas Tool Works in April 2015, and enjoys her new career.

“The work is pretty interesting, and actually, I love it. It’s something different from what I’ve ever done before. I’ve never utilized my hands as much as I do. I enjoy each day looking at something different,” she said.

But what’s most important to Melindathee is knowing what she’s working on and where the part will be used.

“I love knowing that my work is a part of an airplane, a boat and that what I do is a part of keeping airplanes in the air and boats in the water,” she said.

Melindathee leaves Atlas Tool Works evenings and heads back to Walgreens, a job she hopes to end soon. She’s already fulfilled her dream of moving to Oak Park and as soon as she’s financially able, she plans to take more classes at TMA.

“It’s going to be okay,” she said. “I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.“