Meet More Celebrated Chicago Apprentices

AMBA Chicago’s winner of its 2016 Mold Your Career Award for apprentices, Ryan Hassett, was one of five apprentices nominated by the companies they work for, and each of them deserves a nod of appreciation.


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Ryan Hassett won the AMBA Chicago's 2016 Mold Your Career Award, but his fellow nominees also deserve some recognition as bright stars of our industry's future.


My December 16 blog put a spotlight on the AMBA Chicago’s winner of its 2016 Mold Your Career Award for apprentices, Ryan Hassett. Ryan was one of five apprentices nominated by the companies they work for, and I thought each of them deserved a nod of appreciation. It’s not easy to garner that level of praise from this industry’s discerning moldmakers, after all.

As mentioned in the earlier blog, Ryan Hassett is apprenticing at Craftsman Tool & Mold in Aurora, Illinois. Ryan currently works in the roughing department and is in his second year of training at the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) apprenticeship program, where he has gained the ability to run both horizontal and vertical machines. As Tim Roth at Craftsman stated in the nomination form, “With his ability to learn, his enthusiasm to continue to hone his skills, and his reliability, Ryan has been working his way through various departments in our manufacturing facility. He started out knowing nothing about the trade or machining, and has now gained the knowledge and ability to operate our gun drills, surface grinding machines holding tight tolerances, horizontal side work machines, and vertical roughing machines.”

George Christiansen, III of Pelco Tool & Mold in Glendale Heights, Illinois, has been a moldmaker apprentice for nearly two years. He is honing his skills through the AMBA’s apprentice program and has successfully transferred from manual to CNC equipment.

John Korczynski of Matrix Tooling in Wood Dale, Illinois, has been an apprentice moldmaker since February of 2015 and operates the EDM hole sinker to machine wire start holes as small as .010”. He also operates an Okamoto surface grinder. In the nomination form, John is also said to be capable of grinding tolerances of ±0.0002 inch on mold components, “which is impressive for any machinist, especially an apprentice.” Matrix also nominated apprentice John Ziegenhorn who has worked there four years and has been in apprentice training since September of 2015. John is able to maintain some of the company’s most complicated molds with his careful attention to detail, according to his nomination form, and these molds contain many small and delicate components that would be challenging for anyone.

Chris Palminteri has been at Janler Corporation in Chicago, Illinois, for four years and is a junior moldmaker. According to his nomination form, he moved through his training at the TMA apprentice program quickly and at a very high level. In the past year, Janler says Chris has co-led both a 48-cavity and 72-cavity project. “We believe Chris is a leader for the future of the industry.”

From what’s been said about these young men, the future is indeed bright for them and for the moldmaking industry. “It was difficult to choose a winner from among these nominees,” Francine Petrucci, AMBA Chicago president says. “They are all obviously valued members of each company’s team and deserve to be proud of what they have accomplished so far in what will be remarkable careers in the future.”

The winner of the Mold Your Career Award is chosen by the AMBA Chicago board of directors using blind nominations, meaning all company and apprentice names, and any other identifying comments, are blacked out. The winner received a $1,000 gift card and all other nominees received a $200 gift card to acknowledge their excellence in the field. Congratulations to all of the apprentices and best wishes in the coming New Year!