Manufacturing

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

 

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FIRST Robotics Will Hold a Regional Competition at Rockland Community College

 

Imagine a competition where of teams excited, technology-driven high school students compete head to head with robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves. Imagine hundreds of such teams competing in the Hudson Valley over a single weekend for the chance to advance to compete in front of 70,000 people in April at the FIRST Championship in Houston and again in May in Detroit. You don’t have to imagine it – it is real and will happen March 19 -20, 2020 at the Rockland Community College Athletic Center and you can be a part of it. Click here for event information.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 and is the world’s leading youth serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math. This program inspires students in grades K -12 worldwide while teaching leadership by engaging them in hands-on robotics challenges. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is for grade K-4, FIRST LEGO League is Grades 4- 8, and FIRST Tech Challenge covers grades 7 -12, while the FIRST Robotics Competition is grade 9 -12.

The program is supported by corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals who provide mentorship time and talent, equipment, and funding. Participation in FIRST is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields. They develop self-confidence in STEM and real-world skills that can lead to careers in STEM related fields and more. High school participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships to participating colleges and universities.

Working with professional Mentors participants design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students. The competition teams create powerful mentoring relationships between the students and professional mentors, many of which are engineers and other professionals. The event starts with a Kickoff event that unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. This year’s theme focuses on renewable sources of energy and is titled INFINITE RECHARGE.

Perhaps the program has achieved such amazing results because FIRST is known for Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. If you haven’t heard these terms before – “Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.” And at FIRST, Coopertition is “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Last year nearly 100,000 high school students on 3,940 FIRST Robotics Competition teams took part in 100 district events, 11 District Championships, and 62 Regional Events (in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey), and the FIRST Championship. Teams are comprised of professional mentors and 10 or more student members in grades 9-12. In addition, each FIRST team has one or more sponsors. Those sponsors include companies, universities, or professional organizations that donate their time, talent, funds, equipment, and much more to the team effort.

FIRST is a volunteer driven organization with more than 255,000 volunteer roles filled in the 2017-18 season. There are several FIRST programs in the Hudson Valley and opportunities for anyone reading this to become a volunteer. Many of the technical roles may require some experience and training but there are opportunities for safety advisors, field set-up, field re-set and similar tasks that can be a good fit for a first-time technical volunteer. Interested volunteers can visit the FIRST Inspires website HERE for more information about how to become a mentor, coach, or event volunteer.

Your company can also support the Regional Competition by participating in the College and Career Fair planned for the first day of the competition, March 19, 2020.  Your participation will highlight the many career options open to these highly motivated students in manufacturing.

For more information visit the FIRST Inspire website HERE.

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

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Meet Barbara Reer – Director of Professional Technology Programs at SUNY Ulster

 

Meet Barbara Reer, the Director of Professional Technology Programs in SUNY Ulster’s Continuing and Professional Education Department. Reer has been instrumental in leading SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, which helps educate students at all levels about the many opportunities for success available in the manufacturing industry. They offer a wide range of courses taken by apprentices, pre-apprentices, current employees in the industry looking to update or gain new skills, and even interested individuals who have no previous experience in manufacturing.

Reer’s role also goes beyond Advanced Manufacturing to include the Building Science, Web Development and Clean Tech programs. She writes grants, programs courses, seeks funding and works directly with students to build career pathways by assessing their performance in the programs and helping them find job leads. Reer herself has an Engineering degree and was part of the first graduating class with women in engineering at Western New England University. She later went on to work in manufacturing, gaining firsthand experience that she uses to help her students today.

“What I enjoy the most about this job is working with the students and helping them face their challenges.” Said Reer. “Sometimes we get students who tried college a long time ago and it didn’t work out for them, but now they’re coming back and discovering that with the right career pathway they can succeed.” SUNY Ulster offers both credit and non-credit courses to help meet the needs of all their students. Credit bearing courses help students work towards a degree or micro-credential. Non-credit courses provide no physical certification but help build knowledge and improve skills.

Reer told us that its often rewarding to see students transition from one program to the other. She’s seeing a spike in the amount of young people interested in manufacturing and recently helped a student working towards his Associate’s degree in Sound Engineering transition into the Manufacturing Certificate Program. His decision to switch was largely motivated by the steady, well-paying career opportunities available for CNC Machinists. He’ll compete his degree by taking manufacturing related courses as electives and start the Manufacturing Certificate Program the following semester.

Reer also works with local employers and educates them about the opportunities available to train their current workforce. She provides them with information about courses and even helps secure funding when necessary. To help with the cost SUNY Ulster applied for and received the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which gives registered apprentices the opportunity to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related courses for free. They also received funding for the Pre-Apprentice Program, which will pay for $500 worth of courses for students in entry level positions who aren’t yet at the apprentice level.

The biggest hesitation and challenge that Reer sees employers and students facing is finding the time to take advantage of these training opportunities. Attending classes after work can lead to very long days that some students either can’t or don’t want to commit to, and employers often prefer that they don’t take classes during work hours. This is an obstacle that they’re still working on solving, but Reer told us that in an effort to help she actively goes out into the community and establishes relationships with manufacturers to work on developing programs that better fit their needs.

However, Reer told us that when students and employers are committed to the process there is a tremendous opportunity for growth. She shared with us that about 6 years ago SUNY Ulster had a Guaranteed Jobs Program to help build a pool of qualified and skilled workers for manufacturers in the area. They had a student who enrolled in the program and went on to work for Fair-Rite Products as a Welder. He recently returned to SUNY Ulster looking to upgrade his skills and learn more about CNC machining. “It’s so good to see that 6 years ago he took an entry level course with us and now he’s coming back for additional training so he can move up the career ladder at his company.” Said Reer.

As for the future of workforce training, Reer told us that SUNY Ulster is partnering with The Arc in an attempt to duplicate a program being offered in California that helps train students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for manufacturing jobs. This is all part of SUNY Ulster’s plan to reach deeper into the community and build the manufacturing workforce needed in the Hudson Valley. The college is also embracing applied learning initiatives and shifting towards a more hands-on approach to teaching.

If you’re interested in learning more about SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Programs you can contact Barbara Reer at reerb@sunyulster.edu or (845) 802-7171. There are still seats available for an upcoming CNC Programming course starting mid-October and a Blueprint Reading course coming up in November. Please reach out for more information about course descriptions, times and locations.

 

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The Council of Industry offers a variety of resources to help strengthen the Hudson Valley’s manufacturing workforce.

A NYS Registered Apprentice Program helps manufacturers build their workforce from within. The program has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Currently available trades include: CNC Machinist, Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT). 

The Council of Industry also offers a Collaborative Recruiting Initiative to help members attract the qualified candidates they need to fill their job openings. Participating companies post their job opportunities on our manufacturing-specific job board: HVMfgJobs.com to attract individuals with the skills and aptitude needed to succeed.

For more information about these resources please contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or (845) 565-1355.

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Episode 2: Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

 

The Council of Industry recently launched a podcast! In this episode Harold King from the Council of Industry interviews Aaron Hopmayer, Principal of Pine Bush High School.

Episode 2:Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” talked about Pine Bush High School’s success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines and the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing).

You can learn more about Pine Bush’s Summer Enrichment Academies here:
STEM Academy
Advanced Manufacturing Academy

Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”. Pine Bush High School will also be hosting an Advanced Manufacturing and STEAM Careers Night on October 2nd from 5pm – 8:30pm designed for students with interests ranging from entry level positions to Engineers. All are welcome for an opportunity to meet with local manufacturers, colleges and trade schools. There will also be a chance to tour Pine Bush High School’s Innovation Center and Fabrication Labs.

For more information on Pine Bush High School’s 2019 Manufacturing Day contact Aaron Hopmayer at: (845) 744-2031 ext. 3601

Aaron Hopmayer was also featured as the Leadership Profile in the Spring 2018 issue of HV Mfg Magazine

For more Council of Industry podcasts follow our SoundCloud station here.

You can also listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business here. In this episode Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen from the Council of Industry interview Bruce and Aaron Phipps of Poughkeepsie based manufacturing company, MPI. Bruce and Aaron Phipps talk about what its like to grow up in a family owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family.

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Meet Sonja Brown – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

Sonja Brown and Harold King at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast 

Sonja Brown is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the lower Hudson Valley: Westchester and Putnam county. She works directly with employers in the area by “listening to their challenges and finding innovative solutions to help the business get through their struggles.” Whether it’s a non-profit, union, business, government or education provider, Sonja does her part to help them all.

WDI is a statewide non-profit organization with a range of tools – including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding – to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations.

Sonja has always had a passion for helping others. Before becoming a Regional Director at WDI she owned her own business, which used State and Federal funds to help students and their families in Westchester get through difficult times. Sonja recognized that there are many barriers to learning that school districts can’t solve on their own. They need additional support to provide students with the education they deserve. She worked with families who were struggling to the pay rent, feed their children or find stable jobs and helped give them the resources, services and support they needed for their children to succeed at school.

Sonja told us that the experience she gained helping these families prepared her for her job today at WDI. “You see the challenge, you find the solution and you form good networks and partnerships to provide the best support for the problem.” Throughout her time at WDI Sonja has worked with several members of the Council of Industry to help solve their workforce challenges. She told us that most manufacturers come to WDI needing assistance with training employees and updating equipment.

After years of use equipment gets worn down or outdated causing companies to lose their competitive edge, and updating old equipment or purchasing new state of the art machines can be a costly endeavor. Sonja has helped a handful of manufacturers get that updated equipment without messing up their budget, and in some cases the company is even able to bring on more employees as a result. “It’s a win for everyone.” Said Sonja. “WDI wins, the employers win, the employees win and even the individuals looking to get hired win.”

WDI also offers training for current employees and for individuals who are looking to enter the industry. As the manufacturing workforce continues to change and the need for skilled employees grows, Sonja has provided manufacturers with the financial help needed to develop their workforce. Mandated certifications can popup at difficult times but WDI is available to help. Sonja also told us that in the case that WDI’s funding is insufficient for the employers needs she does the necessary research to find additional funding mechanisms to cover the remaining cost.

Sonja shared with us that the application process is so simple even she struggled to believe it when she first started. The entire application is under 6 pages long and it’s all about your company, what you need the money for and your projections on how it will impact the business. A Regional Director, like Sonja, works along side you to fill out the application and in under a week you will know if you’ve been approved. “We know that these employers don’t need help tomorrow, they need help today,” said Sonja, which is why WDI has worked hard to simplify the entire process.

Sonja’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. Earlier this year the Council of Industry recognized WDI by awarding them with the Supporting Organization Award at the 2019 Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast. WDI was selected because of the significant role that Sonja and Mary Jane Bertram, Regional Director of the Upper Hudson Valley, have played in helping our members address their workforce opportunities and challenges.

If you’re interested in speaking with Sonja about how she can help you, you can contact her at sbrown@wdiny.org. If you’re located in Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia or Rockland county you can reach Mary Jane at mjbertram@wdiny.org for more information. To learn more about Mary Jane you can read her spotlight article here.

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Check Out the New CI Podcast and Meet Manufacturers, Educators and Influencers from around the Hudson Valley

 

In an effort to expand our reach and spread the word about manufacturing in the region, The Council of Industry is launching a podcast. We’ve been working behind the scenes to bring our members and the community an inside look into the people of Hudson Valley manufacturing.

The podcast space has grown expansively in the US with over 40% increase in awareness since 2017. According to Edison Research, 62 million Americans have listened to podcasts in the past week.

Our mission is to support our members and promote their success.  One important way we do that is to help people get to know all about manufacturing in the Hudson Valley; the companies, the products, the technologies, and the people – as well as its economic importance to the region.  As technology evolves, opportunities to communicate that message change. In the 1930s, we introduced the CI newsletter, followed by www.councilofindustry.org in 1991, and the introduction of HV MFG, The Council of Industry’s Magazine, in 2013. Over the last few years, we added a K-12 outreach resource www.gomakeit.org, expanded our YouTube Channel and formed a 501(c)3, (Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center); simultaneously weaving our message with the purpose of increasing awareness and promoting the success of our members.

The staff at CI already get to talk to fascinating, impactful people daily – now we can share those stories. Adding the podcast medium will help us broaden our reach and help us share insights, best practices and hopefully some laughs, with a wider audience.  Perhaps the podcast will help bring the already supportive manufacturing community even closer together.

Here’s a Taste of What’s to Come:

Episode 1Bruce and Aaron Phipps, MPI
Aaron and Bruce share details about what it is like to grow up in a family-owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family. Aaron is heavily involved at SUNY New Paltz on their advisory board and mentoring interns. They speak about the importance of engagement at that level, training and building the next generation of workforce. Aaron and Bruce are fun to talk to and we’re thankful they agreed to be our tester podcast.

Listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business 

Episode 2: Aaron Hopmayer, Principal, Pine Bush High School
Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” is top-notch. We talked with Aaron and Kenny Marshall about their success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines, the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing). Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”.  Big shout out to Kenny Marshall, STEAM Coach for helping us work through the podcast flow and his patience for working with Harold and me, amateurs that we are. Kenny is a transformational teacher and coach; he was also one of our 2018 Manufacturing Champions. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Kenny in our podcast world.

Episode 3: Julian Stauffer, PTI
We truly enjoyed talking with Julian. He talked about his family history and the changes in leadership over the last several decades. He shared some insight about the importance of an adaptable, diverse workplace and what’s ahead for this growing company in Westchester. Julian and his brother Oliver are gracious hosts and the epitome of leadership in advanced manufacturing. We barely scratched the surface in this podcast, I look forward to chatting with Julian, and Oliver again in the near future.

Episode 4: Joe & Jimmy Ferrara and Stephanie Melick, ELNA Magnetics
Not only were we able to chat with Joe, Jimmy and Steph in episode 4, they are also going to be featured in our upcoming edition of HV Mfg. Magazine. We laughed a little too much while preparing for this podcast and then worked out our jitters together. We talked about the culture at Elna, their efforts to tackle workforce development challenges and the future of the business. This was a fun conversation – hopefully, some of the content actually makes it to the ‘podcast’.

Still to come:

Jenny Clark, Global Foundries
Gretchen Zierick, Zierick’s 100-year anniversary
Meaghan Taylor, Regional Director, Empire State Development

This podcast launches in conjunction with other CI activities including our latest video featuring an Electro-Mechanical Technician Apprentice, Forrest (sponsored by Tompkins Mahopac Bank) and the upcoming edition of the HV Mfg Magazine due out in October.

We are always looking for great content; if you are interested in joining us for a podcast episode or know someone who is particularly interesting, please reach out to jhansen@councilofindustry.org.

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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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Tompkins Mahopac Bank Creates Scholarship to Support Students Passionate About Manufacturing

From left to right: Diana L. Pollard (executive director of the Dutchess Community College Foundation), Olti Begaj (scholarship recipient) and Amy Greiner (vice president, commercial lending at Tompkins Mahopac Bank)

Deeply rooted in manufacturing and innovation, the Hudson Valley has seen significant advancement in this industry over the years, including local companies developing crucial smart phone technology and other cutting-edge digital assets. With so much growth and development, Tompkins Mahopac Bank realizes the importance of training, attracting and retaining top talent to fill the growing need for manufacturing jobs and to incentivize people to build lives in the Hudson Valley. To paraphrase the famous Field of Dreams quote, “If you build it, they will come.” If the talent is here, the businesses who depend on this talent are more likely to stay and grow. The more businesses that stay, the stronger the county is as a whole.

To help address the critical need for workforce development in the communities it serves, Tompkins created the Make and Accelerate Scholarship to support Hudson Valley students who demonstrate exceptional talent, drive and a love for manufacturing. The scholarship, in its second year, is now awarded by the Dutchess Community College and Westchester Community College foundations to outstanding students in their technical programs and covers $1,000 of tuition fees. This year’s Dutchess Community College (DCC) recipient, Olti Begaj, is an aspiring electrical technician who is on track to graduate with his associate’s degree in May 2020.

“The [Make and Accelerate] Scholarship has paid for my tuition expense, allowing me to focus on my academic pursuits,” said Begaj. “Without [Tompkins Mahopac Bank’s] donation, I wouldn’t be able to achieve the grades necessary to fulfill my professional ambition of becoming an electrical technician.”

At the beginning of this initiative, Tompkins partnered with the Council of Industry on a workforce development initiative called “Go Make It,” a program that encourages people to pursue manufacturing careers in the Hudson Valley. Through the Go Make It video series, Tompkins helps tell the story of young people starting out in their careers. Additionally, the bank partnered with the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and generously invested $20,000 in its plans to expand the Poughkeepsie campus to encourage children to explore STEM careers and the manufacturing space.

As a community bank, part of Tompkins’ purpose is to help communities thrive and grow. One way it accomplishes this, is by leveraging its influence and resources to safeguard customers and create stability for the future. The Hudson Valley is a thriving community to live and work in, and Tompkins has stepped up to ensure that young people see the area’s potential and opportunities for long-term careers. With a goal of igniting and inspiring young people to pursue careers in manufacturing, Tompkins Mahopac Bank’s investment in education and experiential learning is building the pipeline of innovative talent for many years to come.

If you’d like to learn more about Tompkins Mahopac Bank or find out how you can be involved visit www.mahopacbank.com. 

About Tompkins Mahopac Bank:

Tompkins Mahopac Bank, part of Tompkins Financial Corporation, has personalized service, local decision-making and a broad range of services for consumers and businesses. Wealth management services are provided through the offices of Tompkins Financial Advisors. Whether you prefer branch or remote mobile banking, we provide the breadth of services and local decision-making to make what’s possible a reality. Locally Focused. A World of Possibilities. More information is available at www.mahopacbank.com.

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Meet Thomas: CNC Apprentice at Usheco

 

Thomas has been working in manufacturing since he was only 14, and his love of working with his hands led him to Usheco just about 6 months ago. He currently works as a Production Operator and splits his time between the Thermoforming and CNC Departments. Usheco is a manufacturer of custom molded plastic parts. They utilize injection molding, thermoforming, line bending and CNC routing to provide a wide variety of quality parts for their customers. Thomas helps mold these parts in the Thermoforming Department and then later assists with routing the pieces to different specs using the CNC machines.

Thomas was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, and continues to enjoy living and working in Saugerties, NY. Growing up he attended Saugerties High School where he had the opportunity to take courses at Ulster BOCES, as well as some in-school vocational classes such as electrical, welding and technology. Instead Thomas opted to get some real-world experience in an area that interested him. He began working a part-time job in marble and granite counter-top fabrication while he was still in high school. He started out as a general laborer, but after graduation he began working full-time which eventually led to him becoming Head Fabricator.

When it was time for a change Thomas started looking for opportunities that would allow him to continue working with his hands. His background gave him a solid foundation to continue learning and growing in his new position at Usheco. He told us that he’s enjoyed working with the CNC department the most because it’s given him experience with new machinery such as lathes and mills, as well as computer programming, which are skills that he didn’t previously have.

Since Thomas works in various departments, he has the privilege of seeing products go through the entire process from start to finish. This is an aspect of the job that he enjoys and finds rewarding. As an example Thomas shared that Usheco makes products for a local company that supplies emergency safety personnel with CPR and rescue manikins. Thomas plays a role in molding the different parts that go into these manikins and then later assists with finishing and customization in the CNC department.

He found out about the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program when Usheco opened up the opportunity to current employees. Thomas is now officially registered as a CNC apprentice. Although he currently works in both the Thermoforming and CNC Departments, his hope is to eventually work only with the CNC machines and believes that the skills and training he’ll gain from the apprentice program will give him the experience needed to make that possible.

Apprentices learn about their trade through a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction. The opportunity to gain knowledge through related instruction was what initially made Thomas want to join the program. He told us, “It sounded really interesting to have the chance to enroll in some college courses and take it one step further than just in-house training.” Apprentices have the ability to complete their related instruction hours online or through local community colleges. SUNY Ulster for example has taken advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related classes for free.

Alethea Shuman, VP of Sales and Engineering at Usheco told us, “We decided to join the apprenticeship program in order to provide our team with a more structured training program and more specified training.  Our hope is to increase our team’s cumulative knowledge in order to develop improved processes and advance our manufacturing capabilities to stay competitive in the near and long-term future.” Fairly new to the program, Usheco already has 3 apprentices registered under the CNC and Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trades. “We are proud to have Tommy enrolled in the CNC Machinist Apprenticeship Program.” Said Shuman. “Tommy embraces the challenge of learning new skill sets and we look forward to supporting and watching him expand his knowledge and expertise while applying his new skills here at Usheco.”

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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Best Practices for Creating a Job Description that Stands Out

 

With low unemployment rates in the United States, employers need to find innovative ways to win over candidates. This starts with job descriptions as they are often the first thing candidates will come across when interacting with your organization. Just how employers look for a candidate who sticks out from others, applicants look for the same when researching companies. Luckily, with some best practices; job descriptions can help you target the perfect candidate.

Don’t Underestimate the Job Title
Job titles are pretty self-explanatory and often times, not much thought is put into them. However, if numerous companies in a given area use the same generic title; it will do little to make your organization stand out. Instead, take a moment to think of a way for your job title to differentiate from others. For example, changing Machinist to CNC Operator I. Small changes like these, will catch the eye of a candidate looking in that field. In addition, key words like CNC Operator will help career platforms such as Indeed to put your posting closer to the top of the open jobs list.

Relate the Job Description to your Company Culture
Job descriptions give a sneak peak to candidates about what they can expect from your company. There should be emphasis placed to make sure there is no disconnect between the company mission statement and what the role entails. For example, if your mission statement highlights taking challenges head-on; consider writing a job description that describes projects employees work on for company/personal growth. Connecting your mission statement with a job posting will tell the candidate that your serious about achieving your goals.

Don’t Overload the Requirements Section
In an effort to deter unqualified candidates from applying, many hiring managers will create a laundry list of qualifications needed for the position. Unfortunately, this can backfire by deterring candidates who have the drive/ambition but lack extensive work experience like college graduates. Instead, try creating a separate list for minimum and preferred qualifications. This will help hiring managers go through an applicant pool that has the necessary skills but also is not too restrictive.

Short and Simple
In the age of smartphones and social media, many candidates are ditching a traditional desktop and instead using their phones to apply for jobs. If you ever viewed a poorly designed webpage on a mobile browser; you’ll notice all the text crammed into a small space making it confusing to read. Avoid the same result by creating short paragraphs and utilizing bullet points to get the message across.

Research the Competition
Having difficulty creating an interesting job description? Google can quickly become your greatest asset; simply search for the same job title and compare other companies job postings with yours. This is a great way to determine if your post stands out from the rest and to learn what benefits/compensation are other organizations offering. Salary and perks like vacation time/health insurance are key things that today’s candidates are looking for.

While creating job descriptions can be tedious, spending the extra time to ensure your posting is unique can help you reduce the amount of time the position is up for and attract qualified candidates. Best practices like these, demonstrate how today’s workforce is evolving and employers need to align their business models to benefit from that.

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What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

 

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More from the survey summary:

  • “Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.”

However, opinion varied markedly by age group, with younger people seeing manufacturing as less important:

  • “Seventy-one percent of people over the age of 55 believe manufacturing is very important, whereas only 45 percent of those aged 18 to 34 years feel that way. That is a 26 percentage point difference in feelings about the subject between these age groups.”

Now, what about manufacturing’s future? Another survey, by Gallup and Northwestern University, asked Americans, Canadians and Brits whether they thought their countries were prepared for technological change in the “AI age.” From Bloomberg’s writeup:

  • “Just 1 in 4 Americans are confident that the higher education system is doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and retraining.”
  • “Tuition costs are the biggest deterrent, followed by academic programs that aren’t keeping up with an evolving workplace environment, according to the survey.”

These findings underline the importance of The Manufacturing Institute’s mission and the new Creators Wanted Fund that will support significant programming in 2020 to improve industry perceptions as well as expand the Institute’s efforts.

First, too many young people have the wrong image of manufacturing. Many still envision the same sort of factories their grandfathers worked in, instead of the high-tech, stimulating environment it is today. Brookings’ results suggest that manufacturers must do better at showing young people how manufacturing is leading the 21st-century economy—a key mission of the Institute.

Meanwhile, Americans are right to worry that our educational system isn’t prepared for technological change, which will create opportunities as much as disruptions. That’s why the Institute is fundraising for its new $10 million Creators Wanted Fund, which will enable it to increase participation in apprenticeships and other educational programs by 25 percent through 2025. Learn more about the fund and related programming by contacting NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas.

 

The Council of Industry has its own solution, the NYS Registered Apprentice Program is available to individuals with tactical skills and math aptitude. This apprenticeship has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Applicants must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in the United States and possess a superior work ethic. To be a registered apprentice, an individual must be employed by a participating employer. The apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 18 months up to 4 years of on-the-job training (depending on the position) and 144 hours or required related instruction per year. For more information visit our website or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565 – 1355.

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What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More from the survey summary:

  • “Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.”

However, opinion varied markedly by age group, with younger people seeing manufacturing as less important:

  • “Seventy-one percent of people over the age of 55 believe manufacturing is very important, whereas only 45 percent of those aged 18 to 34 years feel that way. That is a 26 percentage point difference in feelings about the subject between these age groups.”

Now, what about manufacturing’s future? Another survey, by Gallup and Northwestern University, asked Americans, Canadians and Brits whether they thought their countries were prepared for technological change in the “AI age.” From Bloomberg’s writeup:

  • “Just 1 in 4 Americans are confident that the higher education system is doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and retraining.”
  • “Tuition costs are the biggest deterrent, followed by academic programs that aren’t keeping up with an evolving workplace environment, according to the survey.”

These findings underline the importance of The Manufacturing Institute’s mission and the new Creators Wanted Fund that will support significant programming in 2020 to improve industry perceptions as well as expand the Institute’s efforts.

First, too many young people have the wrong image of manufacturing. Many still envision the same sort of factories their grandfathers worked in, instead of the high-tech, stimulating environment it is today. Brookings’ results suggest that manufacturers must do better at showing young people how manufacturing is leading the 21st-century economy—a key mission of the Institute.

Meanwhile, Americans are right to worry that our educational system isn’t prepared for technological change, which will create opportunities as much as disruptions. That’s why the Institute is fundraising for its new $10 million Creators Wanted Fund, which will enable it to increase participation in apprenticeships and other educational programs by 25 percent through 2025. Learn more about the fund and related programming by contacting NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas.

The Council of Industry has its own solution, the NYS Registered Apprentice Program is available to individuals with tactical skills and math aptitude. This apprenticeship has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Applicants must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in the United States and possess a superior work ethic. To be a registered apprentice, an individual must be employed by a participating employer. The apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 18 months up to 4 years of on-the-job training (depending on the position) and 144 hours or required related instruction per year. For more information visit our website or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565 – 1355.

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Meet Korey: Apprentice at Kdc/One Kolmar

 

Meet Korey, CNC Apprentice at KDC/One Kolmar in Port Jervis. Kolmar is a contract manufacturer of color cosmetics and personal care products including eye makeup, lipsticks, pressed and loose powders and bath products to list a few. Korey started working at Kolmar in February as a temporary employee cleaning the facility. While working as a temp Korey learned that Kolmar was opening up an apprentice opportunity for current employees and he was quick to apply. By March Korey was enrolled in the program and ready to learn.

Korey currently lives in Port Jervis but grew up in Manhattan, NY. During high school he became interested in the trades and decided to study optics for a few years between high school and college. Studying this trade gave Korey the opportunity to learn something new while getting to work with his hands, two things he told us he loves to do. He later went on to attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice for 2 years in New York City.

When he decided to move up to Port Jervis to be closer to his family, he started out working at Walmart as a stock associate. He spent his time stocking the shelves, assisting customers and helping out wherever possible. Not long after, he took the temp position at Kolmar with the hope that it would grow into something more. Being a CNC Apprentice has given Korey the opportunity to gain hands on experience with lathes, mills, band saws and much more. He now has access to different departments throughout the company and a team of coworkers backing him up and helping him learn.

When we asked Korey what made him want to become a CNC apprentice he told us, “I wanted to be part of the team and to have a purpose. Being in the apprentice program has given me a family at Kolmar and made me feel like I’m part of something.” He works closely with his supervisor and a small group of machinists who have taught him how to read blueprints, make tools and run machines.

Outside of work Korey is also getting related instruction through Tooling-U, an online learning platform specifically for the manufacturing industry. On his own time Korey is taking courses to supplement the experience he’s gaining at work. He told us that after completing each course he sits with his supervisor to review the material and go over any additional questions he might have. This also serves as an opportunity for Korey’s supervisor to relate the material back to his current projects and tasks at Kolmar.

Apprentices in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program are required to complete 144 hours of related instruction each year. Many apprentices take advantage of other opportunities outside of Tooling-U including in-house training and courses at local community colleges to complete their hours. SUNY Ulster has also received the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, which allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related classes for free.

Korey told us that he’s excited and proud to work at Kolmar and be a registered apprentice. His hard work and eagerness have been instrumental in helping him move up from a temporary position to a full-time apprentice. If you or someone you know is looking to pursue a career in manufacturing, consider joining the Kolmar team. You can easily apply to all available positions online at www.kdc-one.com/careers. Search for jobs based on department, upload a resume and fill in a simple application form to apply today! You can also view other currently available manufacturing positions throughout the Hudson Valley on the Council of Industry’s job board: www.HVMfgjobs.com. 

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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Metallized Carbon: Innovation at the Core of its Growth

This week, we turn our attention to Metallized Carbon, a state-of-the-art manufacturing company located in Ossining, New York. If you were to enter the factory floor, you likely wouldn’t know what their products are used for. Metcar is the trade name used for special materials that are self-lubricating which are used in the aerospace industry. Many of these parts are used in machinery where temperatures are too high for conventional oil-based lubricants. HV MFG spoke with Metallized Carbon a few years back to learn more about their production methods. Their products differ from the competition as they use graphite which has self-lubricating properties. In addition, their products are combined with other solid lubricants that are chemically bonded together using a carbon binder. Today, Metallized Carbon has over 150 different Metcar Grades that can be used on a wide variety of applications depending on the customer’s needs.

Metallized Carbon was founded in 1945 when Preston Siebert began working from his detached garage specializing in metal impregnation services. He originally worked to develop a way for graphite to combine with molten metal. The electronics sector was very interested in this as carbon graphite proved to be a better conductor than just graphite alone. By the 1950’s, Metallized Carbon began manufacturing carbon bearings used in the board drying industry. In the 1970’s, Metcar became a registered trademark for the company and developed new base materials that have unique uses in the commercial aerospace industry and in military equipment. Such innovation, required the company to grow significantly. Today, the company has transformed itself from 2 car garage to six buildings covering 85,000 sq. feet and employing 125 people. By the 2000’s with the growth of the aerospace industry, Metcar expanded to different divisions for Mexico and Asia while also increasing US production. President & CEO of Metallized Carbon, Matthew Brennan mentioned that his company is both high-tech and cutting edge in order to meet the needs of their clients.

Thanks to efforts from the Council of Industry and other local Hudson Valley businesses, Metallized Carbon was able to secure funding for a new facility that now holds the aerospace materials division. Located in Mountaindale, the new facility is 15,000 sq. feet with the ability to expand to 65,000 sq. feet in the future. Looking ahead, Brennan intends to hire new employees to continue the innovation the company is known for. Thankfully, New York colleges in the Hudson Valley have provided Metallized Carbon with engineers ready to take on the next challenge. Additionally, Brennan and his team are fortunate for the dedicated employees that help keep the production floor running smoothly. While the future does not hold guarantees, Metallized Carbon is continuing to expand with an emphasis on innovation and quality products.

 

 

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

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Hard Work, Determination, and Resilience: The Path Towards Success for FALA Technologies

Companies big and small continue to fuel innovation and quality jobs within the Hudson Valley, helping the manufacturing sector grow. This week, we turn our focus to FALA Technologies headquartered in Kingston, NY. The company has been in business for over 70 years and built a reputation for creating production equipment for important clients including IBM. In 2015, HV MFG sat down with Frank Falatyn, the company president to discuss its workforce development.

Mr. Falatyn began his career at the age of 16 when he was recognized for his manufacturing talents in part thanks to his father’s working experience. Both his father and grandfather asked Mr. Falatyn to help start a family business named Ulster Tool and Die. The three of them invested their time and money into building a company from the ground up. Mr. Falatyn expressed that he did not think he would be in the family business for long. After witnessing his father get an engineering degree, Mr. Falatyn understood the importance of education in the manufacturing field.

After graduating from Kingston High School, he reflected on his talents within the sciences, specifically chemistry. Consequently, Mr. Falatyn earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and finished first in his class. His professors were so impressed with his work, that they wanted him to become a research assistant. However, Mr. Falatyn had other intensions and wanted to go back into the manufacturing sector. After graduating from college, he began working at GE to make plastics in Indiana. Mr. Falatyn quickly realized how much he missed the Hudson Valley and eventually moved back to New York to continue in the family business.

When Ulster Tool and Die was founded, the company specialized in making production equipment specifically for IBM’s R&D team. IBM eventually became the most prominent customer for the company. However, after IBM downsized in the early 90’s, Ulster Tool and Die needed to reinvent itself in order to gain new traction. As a result, the company changed its name to FALA Technologies. They also bought an empty warehouse in Kingston that was four times the size of their old shop. While the company continued to grow, Mr. Falatyn encountered the loss of both his father and brother. The latter of which was on the Council of Industry’s Board. While the loss was deeply personal, Mr. Falatyn knew he needed to continue the legacy his brother and father helped build. He reached out to the Council of Industry where he took a spot on the board so he could continue to stay in the loop of the manufacturing sector. When asked, what it takes to be a good leader? Mr. Falatyn mentioned the importance of recognizing one’s strengths and filling roles that best utilize them while delegating other important tasks that play into weaknesses.

Looking ahead into the future, Mr. Falatyn highlighted the need to focus on the next generation workforce. This way, new employees can master the skills more seasoned workers have gained throughout the years. In order to stay competitive and continue to innovate, FALA Technologies as well as the entire US manufacturing sector need to invest in workforce development to ensure the skills used by older generations are not lost. As the manufacturing industry takes these challenges head on, FALA Technologies proves that hard work, determination, and resilience go a long way to paving a successful business.

 

 

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Schatz Bearing Corporation: Small Parts, High Stakes

When people think of industrial manufacturing, often times gigantic heavy-duty equipment comes to mind. The truth is, many companies are tasked with building small parts designed to be used in everything from commercial equipment to classified defense projects. Within the city of Poughkeepsie, lies the headquarters of Schatz Bearing Corporation. This company has been around in the Hudson Valley since 1910 and has evolved greatly to meet the needs of the 21st century manufacturing sector. Schatz Bearing Corporation was primarily focused on the automotive industry, providing them with ball bearings designed for cars.

Today, the company caters to aerospace and defense companies which require highly precise parts made from quality metals. Company President, Stephen Pomeroy had mentioned to HV MFG that innovation, customer service, and teamwork have played crucial parts in paving the pathway towards success. However, Schatz Bearing Corporation went through a complete overhaul to get to where it is today. During the 70’s, the company had to deal with turbulent years of layoffs and labor strikes. In addition to that, the decline in the American automotive industry caused work to be sent overseas to reduce operating costs eventually resulting in Schatz (then known as Schatz-Federal) to file for bankruptcy. In 1981, the company closed its doors until the name and equipment were purchased from a liquidator. The company name was changed to Schatz Bearing Corporation and was eventually bought by the Pomeroy family in 1985.

Stephen Pomeroy began working for the company in 1989 and switched focus towards quality instead of quantity. Schatz knew it could not complete with the low-cost competitors in other countries like China. So, the company focused on producing ball bearings that require a sophisticated level of engineering. Aerospace companies like Boeing and Airbus need parts that can withstand the demands of commercial aircraft while ensuring they will not fail. In order to make sure the products meet the standards of their customers; Schatz produces ball bearings in smaller volumes to guarantee quality will not be sacrificed in addition to streamlining the production line to cut down on time needed to fill orders. Plant Manager, Bob Lanser explained that machine setup’s that could take up to 8 hours have been reduced to just 30 minutes. Utilizing this model, has developed trust between Schatz Bearing Corporation and its customers who know the company is up to the challenge.

In order to produce quality products, Schatz Bearing Corporation seeks out qualified employees to work at their plant. Competitive wages and an in-depth training program give Schatz an advantage that candidates are attracted to. The company also focuses on developing a positive work culture to reduce turnover which can cause instability. Schatz Bearing Corporation is a great example of how focusing on quality products, listening to customers needs, and focusing on a positive work culture lead to company growth and help overcome obstacles.

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Future Manufacturers in the Making

 

It seems our efforts to share manufacturing career opportunities are beginning to bear fruit. From articles in HV Mfg magazine to the GoMakeIt.org website and its videos highlighting people working in manufacturing to our support of the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and more educators from across the region are increasingly turning to us to help them connect with the manufacturing sector and the great careers we have.

At schools throughout the Hudson Valley students are increasingly being exposed to the amazing career choices available to them through the manufacturing sector. Council of Industry member companies have been at career fairs and featured prominently in the end of year presentations made at the PTech Program.

Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy students presented their final projects of the year to an audience of educators, industry leaders, and family members on May 29 at the Ulster BOCES Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning at Anna Devine. The young scholars demonstrated the work they did this past year which included several projects with Council of Industry member companies. The students also reviewed their positive growth and chose a word that described what their hopes were for the year. Positivity, self-confidence, and persistence were popular themes among many of the students. Congratulations to all on a very successful year!

On June 4, the Cornwall Central Middle School hosted a great career exploration event. The students were engaged with a diverse field of employers. The Council of Industry was well represented by members Ametek Rotron and Global Foundries, both of which demonstrated a variety of career paths available in manufacturing.

At the end of May, Valley Central High School hosted a job fair that included Council member Mechanical Rubber Products. This was a schoolwide event that included not only potential career opportunities but summer job offerings too.

There is ever increasing interest in the career paths available in the industrial sector nationwide. The Council of Industry has made it a priority to connect manufacturers with the local schools in an effort to promote the fantastic job opportunities available in manufacturing and various ways to navigate the journey. There is something there for every type of student. If your company would like to be a part of future events contact us.

For more information for students on careers in manufacturing click here

Some videos about manufacturing careers from around the Hudson Valley:

This is Manufacturing

GMI Tool and Die Maker

Meet Mike – Engineering Tech at eMagin

Go Make It YouTube Channel

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

 

 

 

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Manufacturing Champions Honored at Council of Industry Award Breakfast

 

Pictured above: 2019 Manufacturing Champions (from left to right): Bryan Van Vliet, Robb Engle, Sonja Brown and Meghan Taylor

Each year the Council of Industry, the manufacturing association of the Hudson Valley, recognizes the individuals and organizations, who through vision, dedication, hard work, and tireless involvement have helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley community making it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper. On Friday, May 17th, the Council honored the 2019 Manufacturing Champions at a breakfast held at the Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY. The Council of Industry was proud to honor Meghan Taylor, Director of the Mid-Hudson Region at the Empire State Development Corporation for the public sector;  Robb Engle, Vice President of Engineering at Sono-Tek Corporation for the private sector; Bryan Van Vliet, technology teacher at Saugerties High School as the educator champion; and the organizational award went to the Workforce Development Institute (WDI).

This is the twelfth year the Council of Industry has held the Manufacturing Champion Awards and several past Champions were in attendance at the sold-out event. In addition to manufacturers and associate members, students and officials from the Saugerties School district were on hand to celebrate Bryan Van Vliet, the educator champion. There was a record crowd of 190 attendees there to honor the award recipients. The crowd was moved by the speeches and enthusiasm of the champions, making it obvious as to why they were chosen.

The private sector champion, Meghan Taylor, was introduced by the Operations Manager of Middletown’s Pratt & Whitney Advanced Coating Technologies, John Yelle. Meghan has been responsible for guiding and managing ESD’s Mid-Hudson Regional Office and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative within the seven County Region. She secures state investments that leverage significant private investment for a variety of projects that contribute to economic growth and job creation in the Mid-Hudson region. Meghan has paid particular attention to the Region’s manufacturers ensuring that advanced manufacturing is a priority industry for the REDC and working to bring resources to bear to assist their growth and expansion. Meghan has over a decade of leadership experience in economic development. Prior to joining ESD, she served as President of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation and Director of Business Attraction at the Orange County Partnership. Meghan holds a Master of Business Administration from Mount Saint Mary College and a Bachelor of Finance from SUNY Binghamton.

Steve Harshbarger, President of Sono-Tek Corporation introduced Robb Engle who accepted the private sector award. Robb created the Sono-Tek Service Department and led the development of key products in his leadership role of Sono-Tek’s engineering resources. Robb has recently been at the forefront of implanting an automated, software driven system that autonomously creates and prioritizes work orders for every workstation on the manufacturing floor. This system has increased the accuracy and efficiency of every work center by 10-20% and eliminated 10-20 hours per week of work order processing and another 20-40 hours per week of sales order product analysis. In addition, Robb has spent many years volunteering his time at SUNY New Paltz, Marlboro, and other local High schools and with the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy. Rob has been a mentor to the next generation workforce and helped guide many students on their path towards STEM careers.

The educator champion award was presented to Bryan Van Vliet by President of Elna Magnetics, Joe Ferraro. Bryan has developed programs for his technology students that are not only interesting and educational but prepare them for the future workforce. He has arranged plant tours at local manufacturing facilities, and he includes a diverse set of projects that vary from gardening to 3D printing to writing computer programs to control a trackless train. He has also coached teams in VEX robotics and SeaPerch at both junior and senior high levels. This is his fourth year teaching at Saugerties Junior-Senior High School, and he currently teaches Tech 8, Advanced Manufacturing & 3D Printing, and Computer Aided Design.  Bryan’s two high school classes are offered through SUNY Ulster (he is a Collegian Instructor) where students receive up to nine college credits for CAD 101, 102 and 103.

The Workforce Development Institute is the organization champion for their work in identifying targeted strategies that address workforce development opportunities and challenges. These strategies can include partnerships, training and/or funding. Their strength is their ability to identify trends, quickly fill gaps not covered by other programs, and then move successful programs throughout the state. Manufacturing companies are retooling/retrenching and making investments in product innovation, equipment, facilities, and the workforce. WDI believes a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the rest of the economy and they’re interested in seeing the new jobs of manufacturing – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to NYS. That award was presented by Council of Industry President Harold King.

This event was made possible by generous sponsorships from Central Hudson; Global Foundries; The Chazen Companies; Viking Industries; The Affinity Group; Elna Magnetics; and Allendale Machinery Systems. The next event on the Council calendar is our Annual Golf Outing on August 26 which will also be held at the Powelton Club. For details or to become a sponsor go to www.councilofindustry.org/event-seminar/golf-outing/

The Chazen Companies, Elna Magnetics, Viking Industries, Central Hudson, Allendal Machinery Systems, The Affinity Group, Global Foundries

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Meet Mary Jane – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

 

Mary Jane is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the seven counties: Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia and Rockland. Her job is to work with partners in the region on expanding, promoting and retaining the workforce. Mary Jane works with non-profits, unions, businesses, government and education providers to identify regional workforce challenges and find solutions to those problems. WDI also gathers data on the jobs of tomorrow and uses that information to help prepare the future workforce and employers in an effort to keep those jobs in the region.

WDI is a statewide non-profit organization with a range of tools – including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding – to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations.

Mary Jane has helped countless organizations within the Hudson Valley region, including the Council of Industry. She played a big role in launching the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program and maintaining its success. Every registered company is eligible for $2,000 per apprentice to offset the cost of running the program. Mary Jane helped to simplify the application process for this money by creating a “common app.” Participating companies are now only required to fill in a small section of information in a pre-populated application form, significantly reducing the amount of time and paperwork this process would typically demand. This has been a huge factor in motivating participating companies to apply for the grant. “The apprentice program model has proven itself to be the best way to prepare and train your upcoming workforce.” Said Mary Jane, “It’s important to expand and deepen these opportunities.”

The Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program officially reached over 60 Apprentices in April and continues to grow. The program is supporting apprentices all throughout the Hudson Valley region and on Long Island. Through a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction the program is designed to help improve and expand upon the apprentices’ overall understanding of the trade as well as the manufacturing industry overall. There are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. Upon completion of the program apprentices receive a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey level worker.

Mary Jane has made a major impact on the manufacturing industry specifically. She’s done her part in helping to keep manufacturers from leaving the state when they outgrow their facilities, and helped companies “upscale” some of their employees with grants to pay for online training. Many companies can become intimidated by the thought of applying for grants. However, WDI has an interactive grant program that simplifies and streamlines the application process. Regional staff work with you directly to understand the issues at hand and then help develop a response. Once completed, turnaround is quick, allowing the entire process to move forward in a timely manner.

Mary Jane’s efforts have not gone unrecognized. WDI was honored last Friday, May 17th, at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast. WDI was recognized as the organization champion for their work in identifying targeted strategies that address workforce development opportunities and challenges. WDI believes that a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the rest of the economy and they’re interested in seeing the new jobs of manufacturing – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to New York State. Mary Jane was unable to attend the event, but Sonja Brown, Regional Director in Westchester who has also worked closely with the Council of Industry and many of its members, was able to accept the award.

Mary Jane’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. She has been supportive in many other initiatives beyond just the apprentice program. If you’re interested in speaking with Mary Jane about how she can help you, you can contact her at mjbertram@wdiny.org If you’re located in Putnam or Westchester county you can reach Sonja Brown at sbrown@wdiny.org.

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Meet Bruce – Apprentice at Elna Magnetics

 

Bruce has been working at Elna Magnetics in Saugerties, NY for the past 6 months as a Machine Operator. During his time at Elna he’s learned how to use cutting machines, grinders, mills and how to handle ferrite materials. In 1955 Elna was founded as a custom machine shop providing specialized ferrite cores to the electronics industry. Today they continue to provide custom machining services as well as authorized distribution of Ferroxcube, Fair-Rite Products, EPCOS ferrite and much more. Their products can be found on driverless tractor trailers, missile defense and drilling equipment.

Bruce grew up and attended high school in Daytona Beach, FL but eventually made his way back up to New York. He’s enjoyed working with his hands from a young age, and as a kid he spent his time constructing and playing with his Erector Set. After high school he didn’t initially consider going into the manufacturing field, but his career naturally led him down that path and he’s enjoyed it ever since.

Before becoming a machinist Bruce worked in assembly. He didn’t have any prior experience working with CNC machines but was able to work his way up and learned quickly. “I fell into it and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” said Bruce “making different parts everyday and being able to work with my hands is what I like the most.”

Bruce just recently registered as an apprentice under the CNC Machinist trade. He told us he still has a lot to learn and he’s looking forward to gaining more knowledge about the industry as a whole while in the program.

Elna Magnetics is actively making an effort to invest in their employees and create an environment for growth. The apprentice program has given Elna a formalized way of providing their staff with the tools and resources needed to be successful. “I’m excited to have Elna onboard” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator at the Council of Industry. “It’s nice to see companies investing in their staff and preparing their workforce for the future.” Elna offered Bruce the opportunity to join the apprentice program after quickly realizing his potential, and they’re currently in discussion with Ms. Hansen on how to offer this program to other members of their team.

Apprentices gain a well-rounded understanding of the trade through a combination of related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses can be completed online through a free subscription to Tooling-U, or in a classroom. SUNY Ulster currently offers an Advanced Manufacturing Program, which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related courses for free.

In just over a year the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program has reached over 60 registered apprentices, 35 of which are located in the Hudson Valley. The program is currently supporting apprentices in Orange,  Ulster, Dutchess and Westchester County, as well as on Long Island. The successful launch of this program has been both exciting and encouraging for everyone involved.

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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One High School, One Principal, One BIG Impact

 

Manufacturing companies all over the Hudson Valley are eager to recruit and train the next generation of young men and women to continue the legacy of building quality products used across the nation and overseas. Thanks to the efforts of a high school principal and technology teacher, this process is going to become easier. Aaron Hopmayer has been the principal of Pine Bush High School for almost 18 years. Throughout those years, Mr. Hopmayer has created several programs aimed at students interested in pursuing a trade.

HV MFG sat down with Mr. Hopmayer back in 2018 to discuss the progress made over the years. Growing up, Mr. Hopmayer was not fully sure what he wanted to pursue as a career. After graduating high school, he joined the Army and served in Iraq and various other places. After serving, Mr. Hopmayer came back to the Hudson Valley and became a student at SUNY New Paltz where he majored in Secondary Education/Social Studies and eventually earned a masters in Special Education. His first teaching job was in Fallsburg where he learned what it takes to support both students and teachers while meeting state education requirements.

After working at Fallsburg, Mr. Hopmayer began working at Pine Bush High School which houses around 1,800 students in grades 9 through 12. The high school is home to a diverse community that is continuing to grow with a district budget of $115 million. From the very first day, Mr. Hopmayer said the main focus of the school is the children and making sure the faculty/staff is doing everything possible to ensure they will develop into successful adults. One of the initiatives started is called Summer Academies, which range from 1-4 weeks in duration and teach kids various subjects. Currently, there are 6 different disciplines including Leadership and Law, Aviation, Performing Arts, Science, Horsepower & Engineering, and Medical. Each program is taught by district teachers as well as community leader who specialize in the given field. The program is so successful that students are even able to earn SUNY Orange Community College Credit in some classes. In addition, STEM Academy was created to help incoming high schoolers gain exposure to manufacturing programs.

Mr. Hopmayer contributes many of the successes to the excellent staff he works with that always show enthusiasm and energy towards the students. Over the past few years, Pine Bush High School has seen fewer fights thanks to programs designed to help students find their passions. With many manufacturers across the Hudson Valley looking to hire new talents, the hard work that Mr. Hopmayer, the faculty, and the students have put into these programs will soon pay off.

 

The full interview between HV MFG and Mr. Hopmayer can be viewed here.

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