Deaf machinist celebrates 50 years with Waterloo company - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deaf machinist celebrates 50 years with Waterloo company

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A Waterloo man, who can't hear, is honored for his years of experience.

He's worked at his company longer than anyone else.

Gerald Weiland's been working at Schoitz Engineering for 50 years.

He helps design and builds tools, such as weld fixtures and jigs.

Gerald does all his work at Schoitz Engineering without sound. 

He's been deaf since he was 13 months old due to spinal meningitis. 

He went to the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, starting when he was just 5 years old. 

After he graduated, he saw some machines at West High and thought he might be interested in being a machinist. 

Then he went to college to train. 

Gerald says he doesn't feel disadvantage, or see being deaf as a disability.

He says it's just a part of who he is.

His other senses are heightened. Whenever he sees other people complaining about something loud, he says he's lucky he doesn't have to deal with it. 

Yesterday, the company honored Gerald with lunch and celebration.

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