Production Setup Programmer Chris Luedtke Conquers Mountains And Machines Alike

Meet Christopher Luedtke, one of our Production Setup Programmers at our GWS-Batavia facility in Illinois. Chris came to GWS Tool Group through the acquisition of CJT Koolcarb in March 2021, where he had been working since 2005. He now focuses on streamlining projects that include the reduction of processes to manufacture new and existing tools. 

A Family Of Machinists

Chris has had a passion for machining and machine tools his whole life. He continues a family legacy of machinists such as his father who worked in grinding, his grandfather who was a machinist, and even his great uncle. He grew up as a kid around a machinist shop, and loved being on the production floor to see how things were being made. This passion for machining continued to grow, leading to him becoming a grinding operator when he first joined CJT Koolcarb. From there he grew into tool design, simulation work as a software programmer, and now helps with projects such as automation and machine process improvement with our Technology Director, Paul Schulte.

Learning And Growing With GWS

When asked what he liked the most about his job at GWS, Chris was quick to mention that everyday he came to work offered new challenges for him. There is always something new to learn or explore, with unlimited opportunities to grow. One of his greatest accomplishments has been the ability to pass knowledge to others, like mentoring new operators. In the end, Chris ends up learning more himself in the process, which allows him to apply what he learns to constantly improve the projects he works on. 

Chris believes that GWS is a unique company to work for because of the management and leadership that guides the company. GWS has an aggressiveness in growth that pushes the company to be at the forefront of the industry. He is excited to see what the future holds for GWS as we continue to improve our standard and custom tool offerings.

GWS Pride On Top Of Mt. Rainier

When Chris knew he was going to attempt to climb Mount Rainier in Washington state, he knew that he was going to have to rely on teamwork to get to the top of the mountain. Chris isn’t just passionate about working in tool design and production at our GWS-Batavia facility, he also loves being an avid climber.

To Chris, he is always pushing the importance of having a team mentality both on and off the mountain. This passion for teamwork combined with his pride of being a new GWS employee gave him the idea of wearing a GWS t-shirt at the top of Mt. Rainier! Mt. Rainier is a large active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, located in Mount Rainier National Park about 59 miles south-southeast of Seattle. Chris made it all the way to the top of the treacherous mountain, which has a summit elevation of 14,411 ft!

With such a feat now behind him, Chris is happy to be back home in Illinois at GWS-Batavia, and can’t wait for his next adventure! After already defeating Mt. Hood, Mt. Whitney, Mt. St. Helens and now Mt. Rainier, his next big goal is to climb Denali in Alaska. Denali is the highest mountain peak in all of North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. He will definitely need more than a GWS t-shirt for that climb!

When Chris isn’t planning his next climb or adventure, he loves coaching hockey, which he has done for the last 15 years. He looks forward every year to getting the hockey team together and trying to inspire them to be their best. In addition to everything else that keeps him busy, Chris and his wife just had a newborn daughter recently. Congratulations Chris!

Interested In A Career At GWS Tool Group?

If you enjoy working with dedicated people like Chris, consider applying to GWS Tool Group. We are always looking for talented and driven individuals to work at our facilities in Florida, California, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Canada. Browse open jobs here.

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