Steve Rotman, president of Ameritech Die & Mold (Mooresville, NC), has had a working relationship with the local high schools for nearly a decade, and it continues to pay dividends. "We just graduated apprentices and we'll have three next year - one is still in high school," Rotman says. "It's a healthy practice to keep you're either going to be an apprentice-building shop or you're not, but you've got to be doing this all the time - always keeping people in the training loop. In the past we've had a gap if we didn't have people ready to come into the program. We always need new people coming into the program. You have to do it no matter what because you'll eventually need the people as you grow a space through attrition or expanding business."
Mold-Tech Inc., which was recently a Manufacturing Company of the Year award from Minnesota Business magazine, is building out its apprenticeship program through work with the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. Founded in 1978, the Albertville, MN-based mold manufacturer has achieved success through a continuous improvement program, and a serious marketing effort which includes two tradeshows a year. From 2009 to 2010, Mold-Tech saw an increase in sales of 21%, at a time when other companies were struggling.