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Machining

Manual Tools to High Tech CNC Machines: The Future of Manufacturing

For decades, the Hudson Valley has been the center of manufacturing innovation from small family owned companies to large corporations. With increasing demand and pressure from global competitors, companies big and small are looking for ways to create high quality products in the most efficient ways possible.

In order to understand how rapid, the technological growth has been, HV MFG sat down with Allendale Machinery Systems to discuss the advancements within the manufacturing sector. The McGill Family is comprised of three generations Tom, Marty, and Neil who helped build the company to the success story it is today. Tom was stationed in Japan after WWII as part of the rebuilding process.

After his service, Tom decided to pursue a degree in International Relations at Georgetown University. However, he quickly realized foreign service was not what he wanted to do. Thanks to a few connections in Japan, Tom was able to get a job selling Japanese manufacturing equipment in the US. Tom explains that during the time, many manufacturing companies were not fond of buying foreign made machines. However, the low price and high quality compared to similar American made machines, won over customers. With his success, Tom decided to start his own company in 1981, which is when Allendale Machinery Systems came to life.

During this time, Tom had met Gene Haas who was building machine tools. Tom had advised Gene on the importance of focusing on quality and features, something he learned while working for the Japanese company. Eventually, Allendale Machinery Systems began selling Haas equipment exclusively. The business began to grow within the family as Marty joined the company in 1987 after realizing college was not for him.

Today, Marty serves as Vice President and is responsible for selling Haas machines to various locations. In addition to that, Marty also informs his customers on the capabilities of the new machining equipment on the market today. This allows his customers to decide if they want to purchase a new machine entirely or upgrade an existing one. Lately, Marty and his team have been working with the Council of Industry to provide more educational resources to machinists and encourage young professionals to join the trade.

Providing workforce training has been a critical goal of both Allendale Machinery and Council of Industry. Neil, the third member of the family-owned business and Director of Operations at the company, explained the successful business growth to HV MFG. Neil began working at Allendale Machinery in 2006, after graduating from college. He started making inside sales and learning his customer base; finding out their needs and challenges. Neil took the information he gathered over time and implemented a business strategy focused at delivering customers requests. Those efforts have paid off as Allendale now employs 45 employees working at their headquarters and satellite offices. Allendale Machinery has developed such a successful reputation, that their client base now exceeds 800 active customers.

Allendale Machinery has proved that a successful business is dependent on delivering and exceeding the expectations of your clients. Additionally, Allendale knows that the future of the industry is dependent on educating the next generation about manufacturing and the knowledge needed to run these high-tech machining tools.

 

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Meet Josh – Apprentice at LoDolce Machine

 

Josh has been working at LoDolce Machine Company for a little less than a year as a Machine Operator of both Lathes and Mills. LoDolce manufacturers the parts and components needed to produce safe, high quality products. Their parts can be found in New York subways, x-ray machines, fighter planes and more.

When Josh started working at LoDolce last year it came with a bit of a learning curve. He came into the position with a vast amount of prior experience within the manufacturing industry. However, learning to work with metal and the different grains of steel used at LoDolce was a challenge he hadn’t yet faced in his career.

Josh grew up right here in the Hudson Valley. In high school he never considered a career in manufacturing. After graduation he decided to attend the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana where he was gearing towards a career in either accounting or law; but before he finished his degree Josh returned home to Beacon, NY where he began working full-time.

He spent some time working in construction and later entered the manufacturing industry. Before working at LoDolce Josh was a Lathes Operator and Programmer at Saturn Industries in Hudson. He started at the bottom and eventually worked his way up to CNC Machining. He first learned about CNC machines during a 2-week class with Questar III BOCES in Hudson, and the instructor later recommended him for the job at Saturn Industries.

Josh joined the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program last summer shortly after he started at LoDolce. He’s currently registered under the Machinist (CNC) trade and has taken a variety of related instruction courses while also receiving on-the-job training. Josh first learned about the program from Mark Harris, Director of Manufacturing at LoDolce. Josh said that, “the chance to become a better machinist – and the ability to take on a greater amount of responsibility while having a better understanding of the work” were his primary reasons for joining the program.

Registered apprentices are required to complete 144 hours of related instruction for each year they’re in the program. To help apprentices complete these hours they are each provided with a free subscription to Tooling-U, which allows them to take online courses at their convenience. Additionally, SUNY Ulster has an Advanced Manufacturing Program that allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free.

Josh enjoys his career as a CNC Machinist and he’s excited to be a part of the apprentice program. He told us, “I really enjoy making things. There are new challenges every day and it’s rewarding when you can come up with solutions to those challenges.”

The demand for CNC Machinists continues to grow, and that need is felt throughout the Hudson Valley. CNC Machinists are hard to find and as the older generations transition into retirement, young people don’t have the skills needed to replace them. The Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice program is one potential source to help fill these open positions. Through formal training this program can provide apprentices that have an aptitude for machining with the necessary skills to be successful.

The 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 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 jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

 

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