Erasmo P.

Erasmo is a Digital Support Specialist. He has been employed by Great Lakes since 2015.

Read about his journey from being a lab technician to traveling the United States training doctors on cutting edge dental technology.

On his start at Great Lakes:

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and attended college at Buffalo State where I studied communication and graphic design. My wife and I eventually moved back to Buffalo from Brooklyn. I initially had two jobs after moving to Buffalo – I was working construction during the day and working overnight at Home Depot. I figured I didn’t want to be outside working anymore and I really wanted a more meaningful career rather than two jobs. I had a friend who worked at Great Lakes a long time ago. He mentioned in passing that Great Lakes was always hiring. I didn’t have any dental experience and I didn’t even fully understand what Great Lakes did – I just heard it was a great place to work, so I applied.

I started off in the laboratory doing model preparation. This is the first of several steps in fabricating a dental appliance. You’ve got to make sure that the work is done there correctly because if not, that shows up down the line.

On his career path so far:

During my initial training I was given a tour of the facility. One of the rooms really caught my eye – the 3D printing room. I had a 3D printer at home – I have always been a “techie person” and an early adopter of new technology. Even though it was only a hobby for me, I wanted to learn as much about how Great Lakes used 3D printers as I could. During my breaks, I would walk over and be like; “Hey, guys! What’s up? What do you do? What’s going on in here?”

Another area that I found interesting was our CNC milling room. I told my supervisor that I really wanted to do that. Typically, a new employee has to work through their initial year before they can take a different position. However, they decided that since this area was growing, I could be cross- trained for this position.

Soon after that, a position came up for digital production. Instead of working on physical models of people’s teeth, we work on computers with digital versions. I did that for about a year and then the position for Digital Support Specialist came up.

In this position, we install and service 3D printers and scanners. I get to travel to dental offices and laboratories all across the country. My favorite part is training the office staff on their new equipment. It’s almost like Christmas because somebody has spent a lot of money on this brand new scanner and I want them to be excited to use it. It’s cool because I’m usually teaching really smart doctors something new.

On the Great Lakes work environment:

I think it’s a really comfortable place to work. When I started, everybody was just like, “Hi. You’re the new guy.” Everybody was waving and saying “Nice to meet you.” All of the kind things that I don’t think I had ever experienced anywhere else. I was like, “Everybody’s nice.” There is a lot of value in that – I’d rather be in a place where I’m happy rather than being somewhere else and be miserable.

I try to bring a lot of positive energy to everything I do. It’s one of those things that “if you’re having fun – whatever that thing is – you’re not working a day in your life.” That’s how I treat it. I think it’s fun. I think it’s a happy place and it’s a welcoming place.