AMBA Award Honors Outreach Efforts

by Lara Copeland, contributing writer
The American Mold Builder

American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) recently held its second annual Educational Outreach Contest to celebrate manufacturers who work to engage young people in the industry. AMBA identified three individual champions from AMBA member companies and honored them with the 2017 Educational Outreach Award in recognition of their efforts. These champions are helping to close the skills gap and mitigate workforce development issues in their respective communities.

Scholarships will be awarded to programs of the winners’ choice in the amounts of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. The following is a selection of the information shared in each of the champions’ nominations.

First place: Tim Myers, Century Die, Fremont, Ohio

As the general manager of Century Die Company, Tim Myers has challenged employees to reach out to youth and the community over the last six years. He has brainstormed two highly successful youth outreach programs that draw attention to the skilled trades. The company’s Mold Maker Professional for a Day program offers students in grades 7 through 12 the opportunity to shadow various jobs at the facility (see more information in the article on page 20). This program has exposed more than 200 students to the industry in the last four years, and five of the students who displayed a passion for machining have been hired by the company. Three of them now are apprentices, and two more will be enrolled in the apprenticeship program upon graduation from Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers. Enrolling these next two apprentices will boost the company’s active apprentice number to 11, with the first two apprentices graduating in 2018.

The Green Box Derby program, in its fifth year, is a hands-on activity for students and adults to build soap box derby cars and race them down a hill. The students compete for scholarships and prizes. First and second place winners are awarded scholarships to Terra State Community College for $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. All other student racers are entered into a drawing for another $1,000 scholarship, as well as Cedar Point and Sandusky County Fair passes. This program gets the students engaged and gives them an opportunity to plan, design and create something that they get to race while the community and supporters cheer them on.

While these two programs are sponsored by Century Die, Myers is active in many other ways in the community, demonstrating his commitment to spreading the word about skilled trades. He is active in the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce, Area 7, REACH and Think Manufacturing with the Sandusky County Economic Development. The majority of these committees are focused on giving youth an opportunity to experience modern manufacturing. The company also participates in local job fairs, as well as college and career fairs put together by local schools. Myers was honored recently as an Honorary Inductee into the National Technical Honor Society by Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technical Center.

Second place: Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold & Engineering, Brea, California

Rick Finnie has taught classes with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, the University of Akron, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin Stout. He is on the membership committee and a key speaker at LSR 2018. He has been on the committee of the Molding conference and a speaker in years past. Finnie has spoken at many conferences, educating his industry colleagues. In addition, M.R. Mold participates in MFG Day. In 2015, the company welcomed 64 students to its facility. In 2017, the tally to date is 243 students from eight different area schools. M.R. Mold will begin an internship program with Brea Olinda High School in 2018.

Third place: Kylee Carbone, Westminster Tool, Plainfield, Connecticut

Kylee Carbone sits on the board of Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA), a consortium of manufacturers throughout Northeast Connecticut, helping to provide a unified message of positive outreach, including the youth, community, displaced workers and others. Carbone is a key member in promoting manufacturing in a positive and exciting light and is responsible for numerous recognitions for addressing key issues involving skills gap, aging workforce and educational outreach. Carbone has been a key member of the team creating and implementing her employer’s internal Westminster Academy, a training program that ensures the cross-training of each employee while also helping develop curriculum requirements at local community colleges and technical high school programs.

Through Carbone’s work and continuous educational outreach, Westminster Tool was awarded the AMBA Trail Blazers Award, which included a $5,000 scholarship grant that allowed the local high school to add technology-based classes, software and design classes and other programs not currently offered, with the goal of reaching more students. Carbone also created the Westminster Tool Learn-While-You-Earn Scholarship that offers part-time employment to the selected recipient while he or she attends the Quinebaug Valley Community College Manufacturing Program. Carbone was selected as a 2016 40 under 40 Recipient honoring 40 of the top individuals in Connecticut making a difference through their efforts in community outreach and workforce development.