In my blog on Monday, I wrote about the great message Troy Nix, president of the American Mold Builders Association, shared about leading one’s company with cadence. He was the keynote speaker at the Chicago AMBA’s second annual Supplier Night. Today, I’m writing about leading our industry and how the AMBA’s Chicago Chapter continues to set the pace as it works to engage the next generation of makers.
As we’re all so keenly aware, the issue of filling the ever-present skills gap looms like a blimp floating in a clear summer sky. You can’t miss it, and many in our industry are having a tough time finding fresh, new talent to replace retiring employees. Well, for the last couple of years the Chicago AMBA, led by a great committee of chapter members including mold manufacturing business owners, supplier company team members and others, have been working very hard to break through and really connect with students, educators and parents. They are all stepping up and volunteering time to participate at trade events, career fairs, open houses, etc. to bring awareness that viable career opportunities in advanced manufacturing are ripe for the picking.
But all of these activities require funding. So Chicago AMBA Chapter President Francine Petrucci assembled the chapter’s education committee to find ways to raise the funds—and Supplier Night was the result. This year’s event was a tremendous success—bigger than last year’s—with 36 sponsoring exhibitor companies and more than 160 attendees overall. It was a full house and a great example of how our industry comes together to lead a great cause.
“This year, we had attendees from not just Illinois, but from Michigan and Wisconsin, including people from other AMBA chapters who wanted to see up close how we organize our event so they can do something similar in their chapters,” Petrucci says. In addition, participants comprised more than just management-level employees. There were many apprentices, machinists, mold builders and even human resources staff present, she says.
Proceeds from this event go directly to support all of the Chicago AMBA’s outreach efforts, including symposiums for educators and counselors where they can find out more about mold manufacturing and know that a college or university does not have to be the only career path a student takes to success.
I’m looking forward to blogging about other AMBA chapters who are following Chicago’s lead, and I welcome comments or information about any other industry organizations who are also working to make a meaningful connection with educators, students and parents.
By the way, if you’ll be attending the Amerimold Expo in June, be sure to stop by the AMBA’s booth #641 to say hello and find out more about the organization.