His father got him the job. A couple of hours after school taking out the trash and picking up around the mill. One of his father's friends noticed him watching as he worked the card machine.
"Would you like to learn?", he asked. "You show up here, and work hard, and I'll teach you everything I know".
He started by sweeping the floors. Twenty-some years have gone by, and he's now supervisor. This is Scott Kominski, and he's Carding Supervisor at American Woolen.
Where did you grow up, and how did you come to work at American Woolen?
I grew up right here in this town. I've been in Stafford my whole life. I didn't go to college, because I'd had enough of school. I had part-time work, but then my Dad asked, "Do you want to come work with me at the mill? I'll see if I can get you in down here". So I started working after school just to help out with maintenance. Two or three hours a day. Then I got offered a job in the card room, and things grew from there. For 15... almost 20 years I was assistant supervisor on the floor here.
What do you see as the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping high standards. The stuff that goes out our doors is the best, and sometimes people forget or don't always know what goes in to making it the best. It takes a lot of work.
What's the most rewarding part?
Seeing the finished product. I don't get to see it that often, but sometimes they'll come over and show me. You see some wool that doesn't look fantastic when it first comes in. It's kind of gnarly and lumpy and clumpy, but then they'll bring over a piece of fabric or something, and say, "This is what you made out of that". It's really nice to see that.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Made in America movement?
You know I try to buy stuff made here myself, but sometimes it's hard. You'll be looking for it, but it's just not available. It's nice to be helping put something out there that gives others a choice.
What do you do in your free time?
I raise ornamental feastants. Not the kind you hunt, but the type you might see in the zoo.