Ralph Oswald, CEO of Chicago Mold Engineering Co. (CME; St. Charles, IL), was the recipient of the Mold Builder of the Year award given by the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) at its annual convention in May. The award, sponsored by mold component supplier Progressive Components, was presented by outgoing AMBA President Mike Armbrust, and includes a $5000 endowment for continuing education in moldmaking for the educational program of Oswald's choice. The Tooling and Machining Association (TMA) Education Foundation and the Industrial Technology Department at East Leyden High School will share the endowment equally.
Chicago Mold has always fostered an educational environment with apprentices in the company's own program that it developed, Oswald told PlasticsToday. "Apprentices are the key to this industry, and they have a vital part to play," he said in a telephone interview. "If you get rid of your apprentices, you get rid of your future. We never gave up attracting young people to the trade."