Creativity and Ambition: One Person’s Path Towards a Rewarding Career

Over one million people call the Hudson Valley home, with many working in various manufacturing industries. Sono-Tek Corporation is a state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Milton, NY that specializes in ultrasonic spray-coating. Within this company, a man named Adam Carlock has made a career for himself. Adam spoke with HV MFG last year and discussed his passion for manufacturing.

Adam grew up on Long Island and went to college to study accounting. However, after his first year, Adam realized accounting was not for him. His passion lies with cooking which he used to pursue a career as a chef for ten years. While he liked his job, the career proved challenging when also trying to raise a family. At this point, Adam knew a more traditional 9 to 5 job would be a better option. After moving to the Hudson Valley, Adam decided to take general engineering courses at SUNY Dutchess where he got his associates degree. Afterwards, he transferred to SUNY New Paltz to earn his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. While taking classes at New Paltz, Adam took an internship through the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center which opened his eyes to the different sectors he could go into with his engineering degree. Additionally, one of Adam’s professors told him about an opening at Sono-Tek Corporation where he could work 12 hours a week while attending classes.

After jumping on the opportunity, Adam eventually received a full-time offer after graduation. One of the requirements for graduation, included a senior design project which Adam decided to create a 3D printer that could print out bowls made of chocolate. Interestingly, this brought him to the Culinary Institute of America where he met with chocolate experts who advised him on how to build a climate-controlled module for the printer to function properly. This allowed Adam to use his passion and knowledge of culinary arts into his engineering studies.

Currently, Adam is a Junior Engineer at Sono-Tek where he is able to further build on his manufacturing skills. He explains being able to work on internal projects and speed up efficiency is one of the best parts of his job. Adam’s commitment has been beneficial to Sono-Tek as they have reorganized their production equipment to make sure products are being produced at an efficient rate while maintaining quality. In addition, Sono-Tek has also invested in software to help track production and product parts to simplify logistics.

Adam is an example of how creativity and determination can lead to a rewarding career where you can directly apply the skill-sets learned in a college education. Adam also has advice for anyone looking to pursue a career in manufacturing, “Find what interests you. There are so many fields to choose from, find something you have a passion for.”

Want to pursue a career like Adam did? Click here to see a list of open positions available through the Council of Industry. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow our Instagram page @councilofindustry.

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Dark Skies – Why is it important and what can you do about it

photo credit Laurie Blake, Selux

What is the one pollution that we can easily alleviate with no lasting detriment to our environment? Light pollution, and it affects more than just our ability to see the stars at night. On Wednesday, February 20th, Selux Corporation in Highland, NY hosted the first meeting of The Council of Industry’s Engineering/ Technical Network with a presentation on Understanding Dark Skies by James Brigagliano, LC, IES, LEED Green Assoc. and Product Manager for Selux.  The event included a delicious breakfast and a tour of the manufacturing facility after the presentation. This topic is especially relevant to Selux because they manufacture IDA-Approved Dark Sky friendly luminaires. 

Light pollution disrupts the world’s ecosystem. According to, “Scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on many creatures including amphibians, birds, mammals, insects and plants” This includes people, negatively affecting human health, increasing risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more. It is also estimated that 30% of all outdoor lighting in the US is wasted or unnecessary, this equals $3.3 billion dollars in wasted energy. New technology can help to conserve this energy and reduce the wasted light.

Redirecting outdoor lighting at night can increase safety. Glare from bright, unshielded lights actually decreases safety because it can shine into our eyes and constricts our pupils. This can not only be blinding, it also makes it more difficult for our eyes to adjust to low-light conditions. Smart lighting redirects light to where it is needed.

Selux has many outdoor fixtures that meet the IDA (International Dark-sky Association) Seal of Approval meaning they minimize glare, reduce light trespass and don’t pollute the night sky. Their recommendation is that to minimize the harmful effects of light pollution, lighting should:

  • Only be on when needed
  • Only light the area that needs it
  • Be no brighter than necessary
  • Minimize blue light emissions
  • Be fully shielded (pointing downward)

“James’ presentation was very informative, and it was great to learn more about light pollution and the possible solutions from someone who is so passionate about the subject. I think everyone there got a lot out of it!” said Serena Cascarano. Following the presentation, attendees were treated to a tour of the manufacturing facility. The presentation itself was held in Selux’s showroom with a variety of amazing lighting fixtures for both in and outdoors. We hope you will join us for the next Engineering/Technical Network presentation/tour and invite our members to submit ideas for future topics and locations.

If you have a presentation idea or would like to host the next Engineering/ Technical event please contact Alison Butler (

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Future plant design links data, operations

Manufacturers are ready to invest in next-gen digital production.

BY DR. KESHAB PANDA, L&T Technology Service, from 

One of the primary elements in the transformation of the manufacturing plants is the changing nature of demand from the customers. There is sturdy economic impetus toward products that are high on precision, safe to use and safely produced, built to purpose, manufactured with less material consumption throughout the value chain, and environment friendly. While presently manufacturing is focused on productivity and performance, the future will be all about precision products. Manufacturers are supposed to accomplish this without compromising on the speed or quality. This leads to some intriguing questions pertaining to plant design. How will the plant of the future be created and managed? How will data be used for production? How will plants be structured over the next decade?

Read the full article

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STEM jobs are in demand and they tend to pay well. The growing economy has a heightened need for workers in the core STEM fields, and predictions indicate that STEM jobs will grow at a faster rate between 2014 and 2024 than jobs overall. Analysts are projecting about 9 to 11 percent growth in STEM jobs compared to 6.5 percent growth for jobs overall. These numbers are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts.

These numbers are largely just projections and are subject to change with the inevitable fluctuations in the economy and industry; but for the most part they are believed to be highly accurate. Not only is demand for jobs in these fields growing but wages are rising as well. In 2015 the Commerce Department found that STEM workers had an average wage that was 29 percent higher than other fields, and that number is expected to have increased since.

Among the most in demand and highest paying jobs are electrical and mechanical engineers, technicians and software developers. Each of these positions have varying educational requirements but demand and pay is expected to grow exponentially in the next 10 years. For a closer look at the staffing needs, pay and level of education required for these jobs click here.

A career path in STEM is promising, but educators need to better inform young adults about these opportunities. Thankfully schools are expanding their curriculum to better serve this need. Right here in the Hudson Valley schools like Pine Bush High School are creating programs to educate students about careers in manufacturing and STEM.

For more information on the demand for jobs in the STEM field read the full article here.  

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Metal Workers Wanted

Welders rejoice! The National Institute for Metalworking Skills has reported that it issued a record number of new credentials this year. 21,420 new credentials were given out during 2015 to individuals seeking job-related certification. That marks a 20% increase from the total issued during 2014, which in turn represented a 36% increase from 2013. The news actually isn’t too big of a shock since the number of certifications issued has increased steadily over the current decade. One data point that is of particular note though is that in the past year the number of certifications issued to individuals has been markedly higher than average in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. All three states each had over 2,000 credentials earned. For comparison, New York had a mere 170. While this is good news for those states, and the country as a whole, clearly New York needs to do better if it is going to remain competitive.

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