Successful Supplier Nights Help "Mold" Careers
The Chicago Chapter of the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) recently hosted its fourth successful supplier night fundraiser that continues to provide much-needed support for promoting careers in moldmaking.
Suppliers to the moldmaking industry were represented in abundance last week during the fourth annual Supplier Night hosted by the Chicago Chapter of the American Mold Builders Association’s Education Committee.
The event continues to garner support from many suppliers, including “regulars” like Progressive Components, Hasco America, Beaumont Technologies, Bales Metal Surface Solutions, OSG USA, Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales, Boride Engineered Abrasives, Edro Specialty Steels, Erowa Technology, Inc., Husky Injection Molding Systems, SelfLube, Sodick, Synventive/Thermoplay, Single Source Technologies, Die-Sep, and many more.
Several new companies also exhibited, including Hirschmann Engineering, Ohio Carbon Blank, Quality Measurement Solutions and Fraisa USA. It had all the markings of a mini trade show and more than 70 AMBA members attended to see what was new and to support the Education Committee’s continued efforts to educate students, teachers and parents about the great career opportunities there are in moldmaking.
Moldmaker attendees enjoyed seeing friends old and new, networking was in full swing all evening and everyone enjoyed a great buffet dinner followed by an update by Francine Petrucci, immediate past president of the chapter and Education Committee chair, that let everyone know what has been accomplished since the last supplier night event. Petrucci told attendees about the purchase of a tabletop CNC machine that helps demonstrate the high-tech nature of moldmaking today. She also announced that the chapter has awarded $15,000 in scholarship funds to 12 high schools in the Chicago area. The funds will help the schools obtain much-needed supplies and equipment for teaching advanced manufacturing skill sets.
Finally, Keynote Speaker Lance Davids provided several tips for more effectively engaging today’s youth once they express an interest in working in our industry. Some highlights from Davids’ presentation are as follows:
- Be willing to change and evolve. It’s what separates top employers from the others. But having a willingness to change goes both ways, so young employees must also be open to it to be successful.
- Talk positive. It’s a choice we make. The average kid smiles and laughs between 200 and 400 times a day, Davids says. The average adult does it only six to 12 times a day. “If we are always talking negative as we run our companies, it is going to filter down,” he says. “You have to work extra hard to get a positive message across to a kid about your organization. Work at not focusing on what’s wrong and instead focus on what’s right.”
- “Have a thing.” What makes you different? What stands out that could attract someone that is not from the mold industry? As a teacher, Davids is known as the Dunkin Donuts guy because he finds that coffee is this generation’s “encouragement card.” Buy them a coffee and watch the phones go away, he says. “Your thing has to be something that’s different or unique to your company.”
- Give them a greater vision, a greater purpose. “One thing I have learned about this generation is that they don’t do things because they are told to. They want to buy into something. They want to own it, and if they understand the connection between what you want them to do and why, they will walk through walls for you,” he says. Engaging this generation and understanding their life lingo will make a difference, he adds. “Find a connection between them and what your company is all about and share your passion for what you do. Hearts and minds matter. That’s what is going to make their job a career. They want to care as much as you do, but unless you show them how much you care it won’t happen.”
- Care. “You just need to care. You can’t fake it because kids can see through fake a mile away. People want to be cared for,” Davids stresses. How? Slow down and notice people. Don’t assume they know. Also, value your employees’ thoughts by asking them what they think about how things are going and what they felt could be improved. “The more you value what they think and make them feel an important part of your organization, they will feel valued and will do amazing things for you. Encourage them and let them know you have their back.”
Throughout the evening, raffle prizes donated by supplier exhibitors were given out to moldmaker attendees, and a 50/50 raffle was held. Stay tuned for news about how funds raised this year will continue to help advance the Chicago AMBA’s efforts to promote this important and rewarding industry.
In this multi-part series of articles, contributor Ryan Pohl, a journeyman CNC machinist who also holds a master's degree in industrial training and development, addresses the skilled-labor shortage and its potential to dramatically hinder the future sustainability and growth of the moldmaking industry.
This school works hand-in-hand with suppliers and shops—relying on their expertise and input to stay on top of industry trends and help develop a tailor-made curriculum in precision machining and moldmaking.
A mold-building perspective on Mexico’s manufacturing opportunities, trends and challenges.