Meet Jacob: Apprentice at Elna Magnetics


Jacob has been working at Elna Magnetics for the past 7 months as a Machinist. Elna Magnetics is a custom machine shop producing specialized ferrite cores; they provide custom machining services as well as authorized distribution of an extensive range of magnetic products. They provide their customers with both standard and custom solutions for power, signal, suppression and RFID applications. Jacob’s role as machinist is integral in ensuring accuracy, and when serving the industrial, medical, military and aerospace industries that exactness is incredibly important. He’s responsible for setting up each machine to specific specs and grinding the stones down to precise thousands of an inch to get the desired electrical readings.

Jacob grew up in Saugerties, NY and jumped into the manufacturing industry after graduating from high school. He started his career at Simulaids, a local manufacturer that produces healthcare training aids such as CPR manikins, patient simulators and trauma moulage products. Jacob spent a year at Simulaids exploring several different departments. He gained experience using heat sealers, large machines that use radio frequencies to seal materials together, he was also exposed to CNC machining and programing, and spent some time working in the foam room which ensures that the manikins are the correct texture, consistency and weight. During his time there Jacob got experience in a lot of different areas of the industry and discovered that he most enjoyed the time he spent working with CNC machines.

Before working at Simulaids Jacob was unsure about his career. However, after spending several years working in manufacturing and seeing firsthand the opportunities to learn and advance, Jacob told us that he plans to stay in the industry. He is currently an Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprentice at Elna where he’s further developing his skills and gaining a more well rounded understanding of manufacturing. The IMT apprenticeship is an entry level program for individuals just starting out in the industry and its often used as a stepping stone to the other trades: Machinist (CNC), Toolmaker, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance and Electro-Mechanical Technician. Jacob told us that he hopes to transition into the CNC Machinist trade after completing his current apprenticeship.

Jacob shared with us that he’s learned a lot so far during his time at Elna and the apprentice program has been instrumental in expanding that knowledge even further. He first learned about the program from his boss Jimmy Ferarro who recommended that he join. “I wanted to take on more responsibility in my career and the apprentice program seemed like a great opportunity to learn more and potentially put myself onto a better career trajectory” said Jacob.

Apprentices that are enrolled in the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program are required to complete a combination of on-the-job training with a skilled mentor, and related instruction courses that teach the more fundamental aspects of the trade. Jacob told us that he’s found the related instruction courses especially helpful. So far he’s taken Manufacturing Math Fundamentals and Introduction to Mechanical Properties through Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed for the manufacturing industry. He told us that he’s been able to proactively apply the knowledge he’s gained from those courses in his day-to-day responsibilities at Elna. He said, “Through the testing in Tooling-U I definitely have a better understanding of the industry and my current role.”

Jacob also plans to take advantage of the related instruction courses offered through SUNY Ulster. Through the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, SUNY Ulster allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Many apprentices have taken advantage of this program by enrolling in their Advanced Manufacturing Program, and Jacob hopes to do the same. 

You can learn more about Elna Magnetics in the latest issue of HV Mfg Magazine HERE and on the Council of Industry Podcast HERE

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.


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Meet Vince – Apprentice at Usheco, Inc.

Vince and Alethea Shuman at Usheco, Inc. 

Meet Vince – a Plastics Injection Molder Apprentice at Usheco, and the first apprentice in the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program to be registered under this trade. He has many roles including Injection Molder, Operator (CNC & Thermoforming) and Technician. Vince has years of experience in the manufacturing industry and has worked at Usheco for a little over a year running his own department consisting of 6 injection molding machines that he operates daily. Usheco is a manufacturer of custom molded plastic parts. Through the process of injection molding, thermoforming, line bending and CNC routing, Usheco provides a wide variety of parts to customers in various industries including medical, aeronautic and gaming.

Vince was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and jumped directly into the workforce after graduating from Kingston High School. Growing up in a hands-on family that fixed things themselves, Vince told us that he’s always been mechanically inclined. Recognizing that aptitude early on allowed him to take some auto-mechanic courses through the local BOCES program while still in High School. The class taught Vince how to rebuild alternators, do small engine repairs and even install breaks. This valuable experience helped him secure his first job in manufacturing after graduation.

He started out in an entry level position as a Stacker for a local manufacturer. He used this opportunity to get his foot in the door and wisely spent his time cross training in different departments whenever possible. He quickly transitioned from stacking products onto pallets into a Roll Tender position and eventually into the Second Pressman role. This experience kick started his career and he’s remained in the manufacturing industry ever since.  

After years of experience working in every role from Stacker, to Head of Operations and everything in between, Vince has seen many different aspects of manufacturing. He describes himself as an, “experienced assembly technician and manufacturing production operator with skills in quality assurance, soldering, machine operation, excursion and injection molding processes and setup.” However, Vince told us that Usheco has given him the opportunity to learn new skillsets and he loves the challenge. He spent a few months training with an experienced supervisor who helped him catch onto the trade quickly. Since then, he told us that the apprentice program has been instrumental in continuing to improve and expand his knowledge further.

Vince told us he excitedly joined the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program earlier this year because, “it gives me the opportunity to learn new things at a pace that works for me.” Apprentices are required to complete a combination of both on-the-job (OTJ) training and related instruction (RI) courses. OTJ is automatically earned every day while Vince is at work and learning new skills of the trade, and he takes RI courses through his free subscription to Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

“We are happy to have Vince working as a NYS registered apprentice and even more excited that he is on the Injection Molder Apprenticeship track, which was introduced at the request of Usheco for Vince’s position here!” Said Alethea Shuman, VP of Sales and Engineering at Usheco. “Vince joined the team just over a year ago with a background in manufacturing and has taken on the challenge of learning a new manufacturing process, industry and machinery with a positive perspective that is contagious!  It is rare to see Vince without a smile on his face and we are proud to have him as an integral part of our team.”

So far Vince has found the Tooling-U courses to be an important aspect of the program that has allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the trade. “I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I’ve gained from Tooling-U courses in my day-to-day work, and it helps me complete my tasks more efficiently” said Vince. He’s also taking advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Next month Vince is registered for a Blueprint Reading course at SUNY Ulster where he will learn how to identify essential details and interpret the dimensions and tolerances on blueprints.

Vince is fully committed to the program and the opportunity to gain more knowledge an experience. “This apprenticeship makes me a more valuable employee at Usheco by continuing to teach me new skills,” said Vince. “It’s an all-around great program to be a part of.”

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Peter – Apprentice at Sono-Tek


Meet Peter, a CNC Machinist at Sono-Tek Corporation in Milton, NY for the past 2 years. Sono-Tek currently has two apprentices in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program; Elaine, an apprentice registered under the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trade (you can read more about Elaine’s story here), and Peter who is registered as a CNC Machinist. Sono-Tek has been the leader in ultrasonic coating solutions for over 35 years, supplying equipment to a variety of industries worldwide, including medical, textiles, glass, electronics and food processing. Peter’s responsibilities at Sono-Tek vary but he spends the majority of his time setting up the CNC machines with the appropriate tooling and cutting parameters.

Peter grew up in Salt Point, NY and attended Ketcham High School. While in school Peter began to develop an interest in IT. After graduation he attended Ridley Lowell – a business, technical and trade school located in Poughkeepsie, NY before its closure in early 2018. Through the connections he made at Ridley Lowell he found his first position in the manufacturing industry at an optics company in Irvington, NY.

Peter first gained experience with CNC machines during the 3 years he spent in his previous job. His position required the operation of lathes machines with diamond turning. Peter explained to us that diamond turning is a much simpler process than what’s required of him in his current position, but it helped him gain the basic skills he needed to be successful at Sono-Tek.

When Peter realized that his work was no longer challenging, he began looking for a position where he could utilize his new skills, and that’s when he found Sono-Tek. He told us, “This position has offered me a chance to continue leaning and growing within the manufacturing industry.” He also said that he’s learned a lot so far including the set-up of over 20 different tools. The apprentice program has even given him the opportunity to gain some experience in programming to satisfy his continued interest in IT.  

Peter joined the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program in February as a CNC Machinist trade after the opportunity was offered to him by his supervisor. He told us that the chance to gain more knowledge and strengthen his skills was what initially attracted him to the program. Peter told us that so far he’s not only sharpened his knowledge of CNC, he’s also gotten to explore and learn from other departments as a result of being in the program. The apprentice program has continued to expose him to different departments and opportunities to learn while on the job.

The Apprentice Program requires a combination of both on-the-job training and related instruction hours. On-the-job training needs the presence of a journey-level worker to guide and instruct the apprentice while at work. Related Instruction hours can be achieved through a variety of platforms. Each registered apprentice receives a free subscription to Tooling-U an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

Opportunities for related instruction are also available at local community colleges. As a result of the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, SUNY Ulster offers registered apprentices up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free. Many companies, like Sono-Tek for example, provide regular on-site training to employees that can also count towards an apprentice’s related instruction hours.

Sono-Tek has been incredibly supportive of both the Council of Industry and the apprentice program. The continued dedication of Vince Whipple and Ed Bozydaj has helped make the program a reality for Sono-Tek employees. “Companies like Sono-Tek are the reason programs like this are successful, they are always looking for meaningful ways to support their employees and remain ahead of the curve” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development at the Council of Industry.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Forrest: Apprentice at MPI


Forrest has been working as a Sub Assembly Technician 2 at MPI for the past two years. MPI is the worldwide leader in wax-room equipment and has been involved in the investment casting industry for nearly 50 years. Since Forrest is trained in multiple facets throughout the company his job often varies from day to day. In general, it requires the assembling of components to the standards provided by the engineering department. However, he also enjoys helping out and interacting with other departments whenever possible.

Forrest grew up and attended high school in Hyde Park, NY. While attending FDR High School he took advantage of the local BOCES programs. At the time Forrest showed an interest in auto-mechanics and spent a year attending BOCES for hands-on training. However, his interests were diverse and he also discovered a passion for micro-biology. After high school Forrest decided to explore that interest further at Dutchess Community College. There he got his Associates Degree in General Biology and Chemistry.

After college he tried out several jobs in various industries before starting at MPI. He spent some time working for New York State Parks as well as Home Depot and gained some valuable work experience along the way. During his time at Home Depot he learned how to work his way up within a company. Starting out as a part-time employee pushing carts Forrest quickly made his way into the lumber department working full-time before the end of his probationary period.

When it came time for a career change Forrest learned about MPI from an old friend. Taking from his experience at Home Depot, he was able to quickly move up the ranks at MPI as well. He started in the Box Room cutting holes in the electrical boxes for the wires and buttons to later be input. He was able to move into his current position by offering to help other departments whenever he had down time. The knowledge he gained from working directly with other departments allowed him to cross-train himself and become a more valuable asset to the company.

Working in the manufacturing industry is entirely new to Forrest and he’s gained many new skills. Besides skills though, Forrest told us that he’s also learned that “any one worker, no matter how small, can have an impact throughout the world.” Forrest explained to us that MPI has customers from around the world including some in Ireland, China, Korea, and across the United States. He’s played a role in creating machines that will later go into the aerospace and medical industries to name a few. Forrest takes pride in the fact that his job at MPI can indirectly make an impact on people’s lives internationally.  

Forrest found out about the NYS registered apprentice program from his supervisor who strongly encouraged him to register. He officially joined the program in January under the Electro-Mechanical Technician trade. He said that the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey level worker is what encouraged him to join and continues to motivate him. Forrest hopes to become more valuable as an employee through the experience he’s gaining as a registered apprentice, and he’s excited about the amount of skills and knowledge he’s gained thus far.

Forrest will also be featured in an upcoming video about careers in manufacturing sponsored by Tompkins Mahopac Bank. The Council of Industry’s project, Go Make It, is working with Stage 6 Media to create the video, which will highlight modern manufacturing and the high-quality jobs available. The video will be used to inspire and inform young adults about the manufacturing industry and the opportunities available right here in the Hudson Valley.

The Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program currently offers six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician and typically takes two to four years to complete. The program requires apprentices to complete a combination of related instruction as well as on-the-job training hours. Forrest is completing his related instruction hours through Tooling-U, an online learning platform that is available to each registered apprentice. Outside of Tooling-U Forrest is also considering taking advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free at SUNY Ulster.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.




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Meet Todd – Apprentice at Pietryka Plastics


Todd has been working at Pietryka Plastics for the past 7 months as a Machine Operator. He works the night shift and spends his time making sure the machines are up and running efficiently.  Pietryka Plastics is a leader in the injection-molding business. Through the use of high-tech robotics they supply custom plastic parts to a wide range of industries including: cosmetic, pharmaceutical, automotive, packaging, and electronics.

Todd was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to New York just over 16 years ago. He’s worked in a variety of different industries throughout his career including retail, landscaping, automotive and manufacturing. In high school his primary interest was in the automotive industry. Although his high school at the time was cutting vocational education programs, Todd was able to convince his teachers to allow him to bring in his car for himself and his classmates to work on. He spent most of his free time rebuilding lawn mower engines and fixing up his car.

After high school he entered the workforce as an Automotive Technician in Connecticut. For nearly 20 years he spent his time working on cars and trucks, a passion he realized early on in life. Todd first entered the manufacturing industry when he began working at Pietryka as a Machine Operator. From the start he enjoyed being able to work with his hands and he learned the trade fairly quickly. He worked at Pietryka for 8 years, but when things slowed down he went on to do other things for a few years before returning about 7 months ago.

Todd learned about the apprentice program from his supervisor and was eager to join. They worked together to determine how best to accommodate his night shift schedule. The Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program requires a combination of both on-the-job training and related instruction, and Todd was worried that his work schedule would make it difficult for him to complete his related instruction courses. They were able to come to a solution and Todd now arrives 30 minutes early to each shift and spends time working on his Tooling-U courses.

Apprentices get a free subscription to Tooling-U, an online training platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry, to help them complete the required 144 hours of yearly related instruction. Todd told us he was hesitant to use the program, and worried that because he learns much better in hands-on scenarios that online classes would be a challenge for him. However, he’s been pleasantly surprised at how simple the program has been for him to navigate thus far.

Todd told us that each class he’s completed has taught him something new. He said “I’m thankful to have been given this opportunity and the chance to accomplish new things.” Todd’s registered under the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trade and he’s currently about two months into the year and a half long program.

The IMT trade is the Council of Industry’s newest approved trade. The program is shorter than the others and allows employees of different industries and backgrounds to gain a better understanding of manufacturing while receiving the benefits of being a registered apprentice. Apprentices that show an aptitude for other trades while in the program can later go into longer apprenticeships for fields such as maintenance mechanic, toolmaker or CNC machinist. Thus far the IMT trade has been popular with employees entering the manufacturing field for the first time with an interest to learn and grow within the industry.

The apprentice program typically takes two to four years to complete, and there are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session


The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes.

On the Workforce development front, we are advocating for continued support of the P-TECH program, Career and Technical Education programs, and community colleges. Of particular importance to the Alliance is the expansion of the hugely successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP).

Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program

In 2016, New York State provided funding for MIAP program in Central New York.  This program was met with great interest by both manufacturers and their employees.  Since 2016, this program has grown from Central New York where there are over 30 companies formally participating in Registered Apprenticeship and 115 apprentices in seven unique occupations plus another 50 anticipated in 2019.

In 2017, the program rolled out to the Hudson Valley (Council of Industry) and the Rochester Region (through Rochester Tooling & Machine Association).  In these 2 regions there are now more than, 75 apprentices at 30 companies, in 10 different trades.

Manufacturers in the Western Southern Tier are now also beginning to participate in the program, and in the Albany region manufacturers are working with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG).  This momentum has motivated the New York City and Long Island areas to also request help in establishing themselves as intermediaries, proving the model is not only effective but expanding, therefore positively impacting the sector and our state’s business and workforce development as a whole.   In fact, we recently enrolled the first company on Long Island, Estee Lauder.

This model with its use of trusted associations as “intermediaries” and its collaborative partnering is a unique model of apprenticeship and is working for small and mid-sized manufacturers.  In traditional training programs, students are trained and seek employment when they are done – in an apprenticeship, a job comes first and training is supplied by an employer.  Industry participants see an increase in productivity, reduced turnover, and increased employee retention. Ultimately, we see it as a technique for improved recruitment and candidate selection. As employers struggle to fill open positions, apprenticeships are an important tool in addressing workforce development needs. MIAP helps manufacturers build effective apprentice programs.

 Given the tremendous success to date, we feel MIAP is a critical tool for continuing to build a skilled workforce throughout New York State.  This program is an essential component of a workforce development strategy to grow a stronger New York State economy through advanced manufacturing.

We are seeking $1.25 million to expand the program across the state.

A 0% Income Tax Rate for All New York Manufactures

The Manufacturers Alliance has also put forward and is seeking support for a 0% income tax rate for all manufacturers to be included in the 2019-2020 State Budget.

In 2014, we were successful in getting included in the final State Budget a reduction in the tax rate for manufacturers incorporated as C-corps.  This single action propelled New York from the bottom ten to the top 10 states for manufacturing and sent a message to large manufacturers, that New York was the place to invest.  It was a proven and effective tool to retain and grow manufacturing jobs across New York State. 

However, the vast majority of manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and across New York State are small to medium-sized manufacturers organized as S corps, proprietorships, LLCs and partnerships (pass-through entities).  These small to medium size manufacturers do not currently benefit from the existing zero percent rate and actually pay the 2nd highest income tax rate in the United States.   They are constantly being enticed by other states with friendlier tax climates to move operations and invest there.  These manufacturers are looking to their home state, New York, to demonstrate that they should stay in New York and continue to grow and invest here. 

In response to the pleas from our small to medium-size manufacturers, the Manufacturing Research Institute of New York State, commissioned a study to analyze the impact of extending the zero percent corporate franchise tax rate to these small and medium manufacturers.  According to a study by the Beacon Institute in September 2018, “the elimination of the PIT for pass-through manufacturers would increase private sector jobs by 4,660 in the first full-year and by 5,850 in 2023.   It would cause investment to rise by $118 million in 2019 and by $147 million in 2023. The increase in employment and investment would boost real disposable income by $345 million in 2019 and $503 million in 2022”. 

Extending a 0% tax rate to small and medium-sized manufacturers would send a strong signal to manufacturers that New York State is not only open for business but making a solid investment in their economic future.

We are working hard, meeting with legislators and administration officials, to get this change included in the 2019-20 State Budget.

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The Many Advantages of Apprenticeship Programs


Apprenticeship Programs are becoming a popular method of addressing the manufacturing skills gap, but not everyone is aware of the additional benefits they can provide. Interest in STEM is increasing around the county and students are beginning to consider their options outside of college. In order to prepare this young workforce for a career in manufacturing many companies are joining or adopting their own apprenticeship programs.

An obvious advantage of these programs is that they provide an organized way of directly addressing the industry-wide skills shortage. The skills gap seems to be ever increasing with the rapid advancements in technology, and these programs help companies keep up. Enrolling capable and eager employees in apprentice programs allows them to gain the additional skills and knowledge needed to perform better at work. This creates an environment filled with highly skilled employees that have the ability to adapt and grow with the company.

Apprentice Programs can also establish a culture that is rooted in learning and growth, which is important for the long-term success of a company as markets change. The new-found confidence that comes with your company investing in you can inspire apprentices to ask more questions and challenge day-to-day processes. These fresh new perspectives can lead to improvements throughout all departments of a company.

However, the most important advantage of apprentice programs may be their ability to aid in the retention of quality employees. As many manufacturers know, finding qualified, capable and eager candidates to fill open positions has become a challenge, but it can often be even more challenging to keep them. Providing apprentices with a deeper understanding of the company can instill a sense of loyalty and devotion to the company that choose to invest in their success.

The Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program provides apprentices with a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey-level worker upon completion of the program. The program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training to provide apprentices with a well-rounded understanding of the trade. There are currently eight different registered trades available: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Electronics Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker, Welder and Industrial Manufacturing Technician.

The program typically takes about four years to complete and provides our members with all of the advantages previously outlined. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information, or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565 – 1355 or to discuss details, requirements, and potential opportunities.

To view currently available apprenticeship positions click here or email your resume to

For the full article about apprenticeship programs and their advantages click here.

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