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Meet: Kathy Borin

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Image of Kathy Borin

Who I Am
My name is Kathy Borin. I was born and raised in Chico, CA where I attended Rosedale elementary, Chico Jr. High, and Chico Sr. High. As a small child I can remember getting out of school early and going to work with my dad. He was a welder and would drill wells throughout Butte County. I was always intrigued with his welding. He also rode motorcycles. That, I feel, was the beginning of my tomboy career -- so to speak.

During high school I was working at McDonalds as a cook. Knowing I didn't want to do that or anything like it the rest of my life, I moved to Arizona where there was a lot of aerospace industry work. I continued working for McDonalds in Mesa and started applying to many of the machine shops that were involved with aerospace. After about 6 months and returning to a lot of the same places, someone finally hired me. It was for a burr-hand position, but my foot was in the door. I worked hard on deburring, polishing and lapping aircraft parts of all kinds - bearings, piston rings, etc. I worked doing this for about a year, and then got into the machining part of it. Running manual lathe mills, surface grinders, and some CNC machines. I was totally amazed by what could come off of these machines. After being in the Aerospace industry for 7 years, it was time to move back to California. I moved to Stockton, where my parents were. I got a job in Lodi at a shop running punch presses making parts for truck trailers. There is where I started welding. From 1984 to 1995 I was a welder. Knowing I didn't want to be a welder the rest of my life, I still did it for 11 years. It was a very hard job. I finally decided to move back to Chico because my dad retired, and they moved back, and I felt very alone in Stockton.

What I Do
After moving, I went to Butte College where they offered a program in Manufacturing Technology. It took almost 3 years to get my certificate in CNC operation and programming because I was working making Dental Handpieces. Now, however, I work at JPL making parts for robotics. I believe that both school and working with very close tolerance are the reasons I am now working at JPL making parts for the Mars Exploration Rover.

Image of Kathy on her Harley Davidson motorcycleFree time!
I have the greatest family a girl could have. My mom lives in Redding, CA, my dad in Chico, CA, my brother also lives in Chico, and my other brother lives in Cloverdale, CA. I have a husband, Mike, and three of the best dogs in the world--Kirby, Clancy and Pancho. Any spare time I have is spent with my husband riding our Harleys. Yes, that's right! I ride a 2001 Dyna Low Rider that I love. I have been riding my own Harley for over 20 years and most likely will never be without one.


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