TITUSVILLE, Fla. (August 29, 2018) — “Opportunity usually shows up in overalls looking like work.” These words of wisdom from Mike Rowe, TV host and fierce advocate for trades and manufacturing careers, rang true for four young men this summer at Barn Light Electric, an American lighting manufacturer.
“We purposefully keep our manufacturing in America to support our economy and to give locals opportunities to work,” says Bryan Scott, owner of Barn Light Electric. “We opened our doors this summer offering internships to several students looking to learn more about manufacturing.” The three high school students and one college student all grew up on the Space Coast and were welcomed into the Barn Light ranks in June.
Linkin Leathlean, a sophomore at Astronaut High School, spent much of his summer in the assembly department making sockets and creating hardware kits.
“The learning curve was hard at first, but I got good experience,” he says. “I also got to spend some time working in shipping making boxes and packing lights which was fun.”
Darrell Roberts attends Titusville High and is heading into his junior year after spending the summer learning to clean and prep hand-spun light shades. After cleaning, Darrell sorts the shades onto a rack, matches them with the appropriate paperwork, then carts them off to the paint department for the next step in the process.
“The best thing about working here at Barn Light is meeting new people,” Darrell says. “It’s also nice to work full time and have money in my pocket.”
Alex Springer, a classmate of Darrell’s at Titusville High School, spent his school vacation working in the porcelain department. He sanded each steel shade by hand to prep it for the application of porcelain enamel glass. After the shades are coated with porcelain, they are rolled into a large oven for firing.
“These are good people to work with although it’s hot in this area with the porcelain oven,” Alex says. “I could see myself doing this full time.”
Calvin Williams, another Titusville native, attends Prairie View A&M in Houston, Texas, where he is entering his junior year as a mechanical engineering major. Calvin put his books aside this summer as he learned how to operate a number of tools in the machine shop including the water jet which cuts disks out of solid sheets of metal. These disks are then spun into light shades on a lathe. Calvin notes that he enjoyed the direct experience in helping create quality lighting.
“I like the hands-on part of the job,” Calvin says. “And I thank Barn Light Electric for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the team this summer.” All four interns are back in school this fall, but Darrell and Alex now work a part-time, afternoon shift with the company.