Knight Machine & Tool Co. builds success with its workers

February 15, 2017 - 08:30am

It's always encouraging to read an article about a thriving machine shop, such as one by Cori Urban presented at Presented here is an excerpt.

Gary T. O'Brien, president and owner of Knight Machine & Tool Co. in South Hadley, Mass., keeps his maternal grandfather's oak toolbox in his office. Andrew Kriesak worked at the Van Norman Machine Tool Co. in Springfield as a machinist, and the toolbox is, for his grandson, a symbol of success.

And, appropriately so.

O'Brien, a Westfield native who at one time considered a career in law enforcement, worked as a machinist at a machine shop during and after attending Westfield State College where he earned a bachelor degree in criminal justice with a minor in accounting.

Realizing he could make more money if he stayed at the machine shop than if he took an entry-level job in law enforcement, O'Brien stayed on at Peerless Precision, where he worked his way up through the ranks, taking on responsibilities as quality manager, foreman and operations manager.

When Knight Machine & Tool became available, he worked there for a year before buying it in 2001.

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