Page 22 - BusinessWest February 17, 2021
P. 22

 Kristin Carlson, President, Peerless Precision
She Has in Many Ways
Leah Martin Photography
usually tells it to young people
in the hopes that they might be intrigued enough by it to perhaps pursue a career in precision manufacturing. And by young,
she means high-school age, and preferably middle-school age. And those in that latter category are now, or soon will be, too young to really remember the 2013 bombing and its aftermath.
But Carlson has other stories — perhaps not as dramatic or crystalizing. All of them are designed to show what precision manufacturing is all about, and also how companies in this area
Become the Face of
I want to make sure
that kids, and adults who are looking for another career option, are aware of what we do in Western Mass., and they know about the viability of a career in manufacturing and what it has to offer.”
Manufacturing Locally
KBy George O’Brien
ristin Carlson calls it the ‘Boston Marathon bomber story.’
Because ... it’s about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers who perpetrated those heinous crimes almost eight years ago now.
More to the point, though, it’s about the role her company played in eventually apprehending him.
Indeed, Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, and he was discovered through the use of a thermal-imaging camera in a police helicopter flying over the area. Carlson’s company, Westfield-based Peerless Precision, makes several components for that camera, including one for the cryogenic cooling system that ensures that the camera doesn’t overheat during use.
As she held one up for BusinessWest to see, she said just showing people the part isn’t nearly as impactful as trying to explain what it’s used for — or, in this case, how it can play a significant role in writing history.
That’s why she tells the Boston Marathon bomber story often, although she admits that its days might soon be numbered. That’s because she
provide parts for helicopters, fighter jets and bombers, the Space Shuttle, medical devices, automobiles, submarines, and so much more. She often borrows the line used often by Rick Sullivan, now the president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council but formerly mayor of Westfield, who would say that, if you saw a plane flying over the city, there’s a good chance that tens of thousands of dollars worth of its parts were made in the city.
Other stories talk about how someone manufacturing these parts can make a very good living and have a job with real security — yes, even in the wake of a global pandemic. And she tells them often, too.
And then there’s her story — a 38-year-old woman now managing this
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