Success Stories
February 2023

Casey Passilla, Precision Machining, 2015

Casey Passilla is a 2015 graduate of the Precision Machining program and Meadville Area Senior High School. He is now working at Pennco Tool & Die in Meadville, which is a family business.

Why did you initially decide to apply for Precision Machining?

I applied for tech because I have always liked working with my hands and was very interested in the precision machining program. My motivation to attend was to help me get a head start in the family business which I was thinking I would be taking over down the road.

What experiences do you remember most from your time at Crawford Tech?

I had a lot of good experiences but one I’ll always remember is the project my instructor let me build from scratch at tech. It was called a sterling hot air engine. It was a small-scale engine that that ran from a candle flame. I remember showing my family and friends and they thought it was the coolest thing ever and couldn’t figure out how it worked.

Can you talk about your instructor and how they had an impact on your career path?

I had a very good experience with my instructor at tech. If I would finish my work early, he would let me work on other projects which really meant a lot. I built a lot of tools at tech that I use every day on the job. This saved me a lot of money getting started in the trade.

What was your education and career path following graduation?

After my education I attended Penn State Behrend for business management w/ engineering but quickly realized college was not for me after 2 semesters. I changed my path and went straight to work.

Tell us a bit about what you are doing in your career?

I currently work for Pennco Tool & Die in Meadville which is the family business. I am out on the shop floor I run a high speed CNC mill and do a number of other things like polishing and assembling dies. Assembly is probably my favorite thing to do. It is very interesting to learn what the parts do that we are making and fitting everything together.

Casey working at Pennco Tool & Die in Meadville PA

If you could share a piece of advice to students who are considering applying to tech, what would it be?

My advice to students considering tech would be to check out all programs they offer and if there is something that interests you give it a shot. Even if you don’t pursue the career after you graduate at least you will carry that knowledge with you forever which could help you or a friend down the road. Most importantly don’t let anyone convince you that college is not an option if you attend tech because it most certainly is. My brother and I both went to Tech and attended college after. It is possible to still get all the credits you need from your home school to go to college and there is plenty of help with that at Tech!