My mission, my focus and my passion is Kansas Manufacturing

By Jaylene Shea on May 31, 2016

You know the 80’s song- “You don’t know what you’ve got til its gone” Well- that song nailed it for me. 

Let’s go back to 2009 and the cold, hard, economic facts. We all know that the economy took a crap, everyone in Aerospace was scrambling and many of us left or lost our jobs due to lack of work or fear or worse.  

Well- that was me. June 2009 almost 7 years to the exact day- my world fell apart. I had several tough choices to make, as a I wasn’t prepared for the worst. From there you either learn from your situation or you have a pity party….

Well… I would love to say that I championed my sorrow- however, I didn’t, I had a pity party. Yup- woes me, woes me- what is my little family going to do?

Well, I will tell you what I did. I picked myself up and did the only thing a strong Kansas girl does. I had two little kids to support and they could either see their mother struggle or they could see her overcome the situation. I chose the latter.

I knew pre-school and grade school were going to be starting soon (I told you my kids were little) and I could no longer afford the Christian private school where they were going and public school where we lived wasn’t a fit. Not to mention, the mortgage- It was just too much.

 So…I made a command decision. I sold my home, rented one that I could afford (which wasn’t much…. looking back, I laugh as every time the furnace turned on, it was like a 737 was taking off in our living room LOL)

We moved away, switched schools out of necessity and I hit the pavement looking for an opportunity to put food on the table and to be OUT of manufacturing. There I said it- I was so hurt, so burned, so ashamed that I couldn’t run fast enough from MANUFACTURING!! The industry that I fell in love with.

Now fast forward with me 7 YEARS- Although, I left the industry and field that I loved for the past 7 years, I missed it. You know that kind of missing someone or something. The kind of sadness that tells you, this is the fabric of who you are.

I missed my brothers and sisters in Manufacturing and the challenges that they face. I missed the little things like the smell of a machine shop, the sounds of a CNC cutting chips, the site of watching a machinist, material handler or quality guy/girl working together to get parts out of the door. More than anything, I missed the feeling of satisfaction that I had when my engineers helped a shop be more efficient, in turn fixing the pain that the owner or leader felt everyday…

Well, my children are much older now, ages 11 and 13. We have since bought a beautiful home and they are thriving in an amazing school district. They fondly remember the days of the tiny house…. they also fondly remember the brilliant engineers that were so kind to them when I worked for MAMTC.



Today, my heart is full. Full because I get to do what I truly love once again. I get to help Kansas manufacturers be better. I am honored as you welcome me back and share your stories with me. I am honored to serve Kansas Manufacturers- one shop at a time. From mom and pop with a Bridgeport in their garage to the larger, growing machine shops. I am eager to meet you and in many cases, reintroduce myself- as we both have grown.