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 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, 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

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Meet Forrest: Apprentice at MPI


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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