Meet Greg – Apprentice at Viking Industries


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

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

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

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

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

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

The apprentice program typically takes four years to complete, and there are currently six different registered trades: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.       

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Meet Lane – Tool & Die Maker at Schatz Bearing

Lane Mitchell has been working at Schatz Bearing Corporation for the last 11 months as a Tool & Die Maker, and he’s also the newest feature in our video about careers in manufacturing. The Council of Industry’s project, Go Make It, has recently worked with Stage 6 Media to create a video that would highlight Lane’s journey as a toolmaker.

Lane was in high school when jobs within the manufacturing field first struck his interest. However, similar to many other high school students today, he was discouraged from pursuing this career path. Lane’s guidance counselor believed that his strong scholastic performance suggested that an academic path would be more appropriate for him. This prevented him from being a part of his local BOCES program.

Despite the discouragement from his guidance counselor, after high school Lane attended Alfred State College to pursue a degree in Machine Tool Technology. Two years later he received his degree and began his career within the manufacturing field. Prior to his career at Schatz, Lane had 2 other jobs within the field, one as a machinist and another as a toolmaker. He’s extremely satisfied with his decision to pursue a vocational career path, and wants to encourage others with similar interests to not get discouraged if people are unsupportive.

Lane appreciates that everyday at Schatz is different. He’s tasked with creating smaller tools that become a part of much bigger machines to help them run efficiently. Lane said his favorite part of the job is “being able to see something come out of nothing.” Each part doesn’t turn out exactly like the last, which forces him to adapt and overcome small challenges everyday. The satisfaction that Lane receives each day from performing his job is reassuring to him that he chose the right career path.

Lane enthusiastically shared this story with The Council of Industry, and hopes that it will inspire other students who are also interested in manufacturing. Go Make It strives to inform students and educators about careers in advanced manufacturing in an effort to lessen the skills gaps in the Hudson Valley. To learn more about Lane’s job as a Tool & Die Maker at Schatz Bearing check out the video here!


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