Find the Latest COVID-19 Updates and Recommendations: The CI Blog »
Coronavirus Resources: COVID-19 Resource Guide »


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.

read more »

Meet Greg – Apprentice at Viking Industries


Greg has been working at Viking Industries in New Paltz, NY for the past 9 years as an Industrial Mechanic. He spends his days fixing, repairing and troubleshooting everything from forklifts to press machines. Over the years he’s become the go-to person when anyone has a problem that needs fixing.

Greg grew up locally and continues to live in Clintondale just a short drive from work.  In high school he didn’t anticipate pursuing a career in the manufacturing field and he never attended a BOCES program. After high school he decided to study engineering. While pursuing his degree he attended several colleges including RPI and SUNY New Paltz.

While he was still in college Greg began working at Viking on the weekends. Greg’s father is the Maintenance Supervisor at Viking and asked Greg to help wherever he might be needed. The majority of his responsibilities included fixing and repairing machines.

Greg also spent some time working as a custom cabinetry builder at Apuzzo Kitchens prior to working at Viking. However, he eventually decided to leave school and work at Viking Industries full-time. He’s been working as an Industrial Mechanic ever since. Greg learned how to adjust and repair equipment from his dad. Growing up they would work together on fixing cars and tractors. Today he’s able to use and expand on those skills he learned as a kid, while still getting to work with his dad.

Greg joined the Council of Industry’s registered apprentice program in September of 2018 under the maintenance mechanic trade. Since then he’s taken a variety of related instruction courses while also receiving on-the-job training. Greg said that he first learned about the apprentice program from Richard Croce, President of Viking Industries. He said that “the opportunity for continued education” was what made him want to become a registered apprentice.

Greg was also awarded 3 years of previous credit because of his extensive past experience, which reduced the program length from four years to one. He said that so far the Council of Industry has made the process straightforward and easy to get started. The NYS Registered Apprentice Program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses are taken by the apprentice outside of work and teach more knowledge-based facets of the trade. On-the-job training requires a journey-level employee, capable and willing to share their experience, to work with the apprentice in hands-on instruction. Combined these two elements provide the apprentice with a more well-rounded understanding of the trade.

The apprentice program typically takes four years to complete, and there are currently six different registered trades: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker 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.       

read more »