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Thomas Rock’s Return 2 NWPA Story

Author: Paul Petrianni

“It’s particularly satisfying knowing that the things we do here at NuTec have a compounding effect around the world. Some of the machines that we build are used to load surgical staples that help not only people all around the country, but quite possibly the world,” said Meadville resident Thomas Rock.

Rock works at NuTec Tooling Systems in Crawford County. He has spent most of his life in Pennsylvania. He attended Gannon University where he studied business and philosophy. Shortly thereafter, Rock took up a career in the food service industry, until the challenges of raising a family within this industry grew too difficult.

“Manufacturing in northwest Pennsylvania provided me new opportunities and better potential for growth,” said Rock. “Meadville is Tool City, USA. There are more machinists and toolmakers here in Meadville than anywhere else in the country per capita.”

He then described how his lifelong commitment to learning played a role in his relocation into a new career path. “Automation and manufacturing were two things at that time, I hadn’t been a part of in my professional career. They both were totally out of my wheelhouse, and granted me an opportunity to learn new things.”

Not only does his profession provide him the lifelong opportunity to continue to learn and develop, but it also grants him the ability to impact the world on an even larger level.

“Our customer produces millions of these tools that deal with the loading of surgical staples. For me that is pretty amazing, to know that I played a role in that at all. As small as it might be, it’s nice to know that we helped have a positive impact on people’s lives,” said Rock.

He has always enjoyed northwest Pennsylvania geographically and loves the weather of this area. “I love that we in western Pennsylvania get the liberty to enjoy all four seasons,” said Rock. “I’ve traveled halfway around the world; it’s nice that in this region we get a taste of it all. There’s always a lot of things we get to do outdoors with the family, and in my opinion it is a reasonable safe area to raise a family.”   

He chuckled when posed with the question of what he would say to encourage those that have moved away to consider moving back. Although he did not provide any advice or reasons, he assured me that he believes he made the right decision on picking northwest Pennsylvania.

“I’m happy I’m here, I did consider moving to South Carolina about 10 years ago. [That was] until I ended up meeting my wife and we ultimately settled here. I enjoy the culture and people of this area,” he stated.

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