Where There’s a Will – Guilmer Fuentes

Guilmer Fuentes journey to Lacks started when he left his native Guatemala for the U.S. over 15 years ago, settling in California. After nine years in California, he moved his family to Michigan.

He was working another job when a friend made a life-changing suggestion. “He said, ‘You should work for Lacks Enterprises. There are a lot of opportunities there,” Fuentes recalled.

He started as a machine operator, but it was not the challenge he sought. “I didn’t like it,” he said. “I didn’t like waiting for the parts to come out of the machine. I told them ‘This isn’t for me.’ I need to look for something else. The supervisor saw that I liked to work hard. She said ‘I’m going to help you as much as I can.’”

When a hand injury sidelined a co-worker, he was presented with the chance to step right into a backup die setter position. Fuentes quickly acclimated himself to the new role. Within several months of accepting the position he was on his way to becoming a senior die setter.

His mechanical acumen and work ethic impressed his supervisors. One recommended that Fuentes enroll in the Lacks maintenance mechanic apprenticeship program.

At the time, Fuentes was one of several employees in the program, which combined classroom work with practical, on-the-job training in various Lacks facilities. Four years later, he was the only person to complete the program.

Fuentes is a good example of what one can achieve if you put your mind to something and remain steadfast in your resolve to succeed.

He continues to look for ways to improve his knowledge and skills. He too an introductory course in computer logics and would like to learn more about programmable logic controllers.

To this day, Fuentes remains grateful that he was given the opportunity to participate in the apprenticeship program. “I appreciate that Lacks paid for my classes so that I can have a better future, hopefully with more opportunities down the road,” he said.

By Mark Newman | Communications Specialist, Lacks Enterprises