Arkansas State University - Newport

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October 2019

#MyASUNstory: Brian Bass

Brian Bass has a variety of skills after a few different career paths, but now he is using those skills for Advanced Manufacturing.

“It took me 20 something years to come back to school, and I thought I’m beyond that now, and it’s not,” Bass said.

He was raised around Northeast Arkansas, and his first goal was to find a job connected to architectural design and landscaping. He moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to pursue that dream.

Bass worked for Garvan Wood laying gardens, but he was soon called home to help his family.

“Came here to take care of my 104-year-old grandmother, and through that, she found me a job a couple of weeks after I’d moved back here to help her and my mother,” Bass said.

She found him a job in Paragould on a small farm, but Bass felt it may be time for a career shift.

“Being an older gentleman, the landscape industry is not my thing anymore,” Bass said. “I’m getting to where I can’t lift as much, and I thought well this would be an opportunity.”

He then got in touch with ASU-Newport’s Advanced Manufacturing faculty members and decided ASUN was for him.

“I can work in the mornings, and then I have two days where I work full-time and weekends are optional,” Bass said. “So it’s very flexible, very doable for young or old.”

For many, Advanced Manufacturing is a foreign concept. What does it even mean? Bass said it’s amazing to take a large project with a machine and work down to the smallest of an inch.

“Machining is a set of skills that you learn to cut, face, drill, contour parts in a setting that is using a simplified code that a machine understands, and creating a part for anyone that needs a part for a car, for a gun, for aeronautics designs, anything of that nature,” Bass said. ” These machines are capable through human input to do these parts like that.”

This wasn’t part of his “plan”, but Bass said he’s so happy he took the leap.

“For anyone who may have a second thought, well I just don’t have the time, well that’s not true,” Bass said. “I didn’t have the time, and I absolutely say jump in with both feet. Do not hesitate or second guess from your heart.”

Bass said this educational opportunity changed his life, and he can’t wait to enter the workforce.

To learn more about ASUN’s Advanced Manufacturing Program click here