LaunchPoint: Blasting Barriers

Through serious health concerns, Louis Maltese pursues a career in manufacturing.


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“LaunchPoint” is a new series from the Edge Factor Show coming in May 2014. It will air on TV on Cox7 Arizona. The show’s creators offer this synopsis of one of the episodes:

“If it’s broken, fix it!” was always Louis Maltese’s approach to mechanics. Growing up, Louis was always tinkering with machines and gadgets. His mother knew early on to keep the power tools out of his reach. But as the years went on, his ability to think mechanically and figure out solutions to technical challenges have proved useful. 

Prior to graduating high school, Louis knew that he wanted to get involved with advanced manufacturing. During and after his teen years, he purchased gaming consoles and vintage cars in need of repair. In each case, he was determined to do whatever it took to find the solution, repair the broken parts, and resell the product. His hard work and diligence paid off when he used the profit he received to cover his two-year education at Hennepin Technical College.

In the midst of all this, Louis was faced with overcoming the pain and symptoms that accompany Crohn’s disease. But he bravely pushed through, and focused on his dream of having a career in manufacturing. One of his instructors at Hennepin’s Haas Technical Education Center was Robert Lund, who says, “Louis was a dedicated and focused student…. [He] remained focused on attaining his goal.” 

Eric Galush and Matthew Morrow from Graco Inc. presented to the students at Hennepin and told them they were seeking new hires. Graco Inc. is a manufacturing company that produces fluid handling systems. The company designs, manufactures and markets equipment to move, measure, control, dispense and spray fluid materials. After hearing about the opportunity to work at Graco Inc., Louis set his sights on launching his career with this company’s team. Recognizing that Louis had the skills to back up that passion, Eric and Matthew felt confident that he had what it took to succeed at Graco. Even before Louis graduated in Spring 2013, they offered him a job as a CNC machinist. “Louis has one of the best attitudes I have ever seen. He is so positive and optimistic about everything. When I offered him the position, he would not stop smiling,” Eric recalls. “Louis brings his excitement to work every day. This translates into him being engaged in his training,” Matthew says.

In the upcoming years, Louis will work on new product development, train other machinists and program the newest CNC and inspection equipment. He’s only 20 years old, but he is well on his way to great success. According to Matthew, “I can see him progressing rapidly with his machining skill set. He has the opportunity to move to advanced and challenging equipment.” Louis’ perseverance, even in the midst of ongoing health concerns, has opened up opportunities to continue his education and take his career to the next level. For Louis Maltese, this was his LaunchPoint.