Celebrating a Columnist’s Milestone With a Novel Take on ApprenticeshipsFebruary 27, 2023
Pete Ulintz took over our monthly Tooling by Design column in July 2006, and in 2015 became technical director of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). Time has flashed by, and with this issue we proudly present Pete’s 200th column, quite an amazing accomplishment.
Prior to joining PMA, Pete worked 26+ yr. as advanced product-development manager at Anchor Manufacturing Corp., and has served for dozens of years (and continues to do so for PMA) acting as an educator and speaker. And, he is past-president and member of the North American Deep Drawing Research Group (NADDRG).
During his tenure with MetalForming, Pete’s devoted several columns to workforce-development themes, which he does in this issue (beginning on page 14). He writes:
“Metal forming companies struggle to find qualified candidates for their apprenticeship programs because students are not interested in—or are unaware of—manufacturing opportunities. Here’s a novel approach: Recruit more apprentices from inside of the organization, concentrating intensely on production-equipment operators. Structured training programs that develop stamping-press technicians, for example, with upward mobility into more skilled trades would be a novel approach to apprenticeships.”
Pete hits the proverbial nail on the head, and his timing is perfect, as I just had that same conversation with Jeff Aznavorian, president of metal former Clips & Clamps Industries and who is highlighted in this issue (beginning on page 32) as he prepares to serve as PMA’s 2023 board chair. Aznavorian keeps a keen eye on workforce development, where his philosophy echoes Pete’s:
“This approach (that Pete Ulintz professes) has played out several times at Clips & Clamps Industries,” Aznavorian says. “One recent example is Mike Snow, who started for us working in fabrication and assembly and then moved into shipping and receiving. When we met with Mike and discussed his goals, he said he really wanted to work with computers and technology, and lo and behold we already had a perfect apprenticeship program in place for him, in our CNC wire forming department. Mike is more than half-way through his apprenticeship and already is programming and setting up his own parts. He has a chance to one day run that department and become an integral part of the company.”
To further recognize Pete’s impact on our industry, PMA President David Klotz adds: