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Faces of Manufacturing

“I’m proud of you, dad” messages motivate local man in WorkAdvance success

At a time when Ja’Tice Provitt was searching for career consistency, he saw a WorkAdvance flyer posted on social media by Warren Forward. It’s one of the organizations that MVMC partnered with to get the program up and running in Trumbull County.

Provitt, who’s 46, took advantage of the opportunity and joined the first-ever cohort held in Warren in December 2023 at Trumbull Community Action Program.

Faith in the process

“I was doing mostly landscaping before going to WorkAdvance. I needed steady work, so this seemed like an opportunity to get that going. I took a leap of faith,” he said.

When that happened, Provitt never gave up.

“I was a little overwhelmed at first. I was rusty with the math, but they walked us through it and helped us out. I dusted the cobwebs off.”

He says the career coaching is also helpful. Participants learn about good communication, workplace behavior and get assistance with removing barriers to employment.

Hard work reaps rewards

After completing WorkAdvance, Provitt interviewed with Liberty Steel Industries in Warren and was hired in February 2024 in packaging.

“My day starts at 5 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., or it could go to 3:30 p.m. It depends on the orders for the day,” he said. “Some days it’s way more than others, and you’re constantly going.”

Provitt says his new manufacturing career has been a good change and brings peace of mind.

“Like health care. I’m getting older, and I needed something I could rely on. I don’t have time to sit around and think. I’m completely occupied when I’m here. Then, when I leave, I can go do my landscaping, too.”

He now has more financial freedom with a regular paycheck and making money from his business.

“Doing this was worth it. I’m trying to incorporate both jobs. Now, I don’t have to worry about winter time and making ends meet.”

Thinking ahead

Provitt is satisfied with his career path, but he’s open to learning new skills to advance within Liberty Steel.

“I want to eventually train on the slitter. That’s a pretty interesting job. However, I would like to be able to learn everything.”

The slitter takes a coil of aluminum or steel and cuts it into specified lengths and widths as it runs through the machine.

Support and encouragement

WorkAdvance has launched Provitt forward in life, and it’s something he highly recommends to anyone who needs a new start.

“It’s for the betterment of yourself, so go for it.”

He gets a lot of support from his eight children. The oldest is 30, and the youngest is 11.

They also understand and acknowledge what he’s accomplished.

“I get ‘I’m proud of you dad’ and texts sometimes. One day, I got a message, and I had to go into the bathroom to get myself together. That was a good one from my 26-year-old son. He made me feel good.”

There’s no doubt the WorkAdvance program is changing lives. For those hesitating to go through the program, Provitt has some last words of encouragement.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it. You have nothing to lose.”

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Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: Schwebel Baking Company

Business started in 1906 by delivering bread door-to-door to 40 homes in Youngstown. Now, more than a century later, Schwebel Baking Company produces almost a quarter of a million packages of bread and buns every day.

Schwebel’s has bakeries on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown and in Hebron, Ohio. There are 17 distribution centers across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. From there, trucks take products to customers around the region.

Great Opportunities

The company makes a variety of breads and buns and has its sights set on future growth.

“We have a great legacy and are continuing that path with excellent momentum and improvements in operational processes, equipment, lean manufacturing, and people initiatives such as relaunching our mission, values, and a deliberate people strategy,” said Melinda Rombold, Director of Human Resources. “Schwebel’s delivers nourishing products to your table with it’s over 700 employees.”

However, like many other manufacturers, the company continues to grapple with an evolving workforce.

“Society is changing, workforce is changing, everything is changing,” she said. “We have to know and acknowledge that and make sure we’re attracting and keeping good employees.” 

Strengthening the workforce through MVMC

Those are reasons why Rombold believes being part of MVMC is important to the company.

“Organizations like this can help when we need additional, creative resources and partnerships to do things we need to do.”

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber first put her in contact with MVMC, and after that, Schwebel’s became a member.

“Partnering with an organization like MVMC can be a great benefit. There are like-minded individuals and community partnerships. It’s good for the area, employees and companies at the same time,” Rombold said.

Schwebel’s is currently looking to hire and is excited about the WorkAdvance program to help fill open positions.

“Since the end of the pandemic, we have been very busy and working to stabilize operations and the workforce. Plus, summer is our busy bun season. When we don’t have enough staff, we have people working overtime and/or six to seven days a week,” she said.

Rombold also explained that our employees’ input on production improvements and culture is key, so a survey was recently conducted to gain production employee insights.

“As the workforce evolves, so must we. We’re excited to be part of MVMC because it’s one of the groups already doing that.”

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Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: Pantheon Innovative Builders

If there’s an example of how manufacturing and construction can blend, look no further than Pantheon Innovative Builders. The company’s plan for 3D printed housing could revolutionize the industry.

Pantheon Innovative Builders is new to the area and making big moves to change housing options in the Mahoning Valley and across the country. The concepts are there, and the company is getting close to turning their hopes into reality.

“We need to design a pathway to meet workers where they are. We’ve done some work in Columbus and New Mexico. We’re begging to do something here, but we have to close that gap,” said Ryan Kelly, owner, Pantheon Innovative Builders.

Kelly points out that with the U.S. housing crisis, it’s never been more important to build affordable, secure living spaces.

“In Ohio alone, we’d need 15,000 housing units built every year for the next 10 years in order to keep up,” he said.

Bridging the gap through MVMC
Kelly believes construction can benefit from taking a manufacturing approach. Most recently, he noted the supply chain battle, which affects efficiency across the board. His effort to bridge the gap between the two industries was a direct push to join MVMC.

“Partnership is important. We’re better together, and that’s our philosophy. We want to work and show our added value. We know manufacturing is growing, so we want to learn what we can,” Kelly said.

Prior to becoming a member, he heard about MVMC regularly through various community connections, news articles and social media.

“I love the work MVMC does and the way the organization approaches workforce issues. It’s not just about throwing money at something. There’s an understanding of what’s happening out there, and things are getting done,” Kelly said.

Partnerships make things happen
If any business understands how partnerships help get things done, it’s Pantheon. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without them.

Pantheon is partners with the Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) and COBOD – the world leader in 3D construction printing. Pantheon had the printer delivered to CDME in January 2023. This allows for research and testing of the technology.

“Organizations like CDME and COBOD continue to have impact on the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry worldwide. This helps us create a model to reimagine, retrain and recruit the future workforce,” Kelly said.

He says despite some challenges, 3D printed construction also has advantages like time efficiency, safety and less impact on the environment.

Kelly also believes in the partnership with America Makes to advance research and development of 3D printed home construction.

“America Makes deals with billions of dollars in federal funding. It’s going to bring manufacturing back here, and not enough people know about it. We have what’s needed to come back as an area built on manufacturing. We just need to utilize these things,” he said.

Evolving the next generation
Reaching young people is another priority for Pantheon. The company’s partner, non-profit organization, Evolve Innovation Center, is led by Bryant Youngblood, the chief workforce and education officer. He’s been in education for years before working for Pantheon and Evolve.

Part of Evolve’s mission is conducting workshops and training students with 3D printing curriculum. The YMCA in downtown Youngstown is one of the places that benefits from this program. Groups of students took part in an 11-week course over the summer.

Youngblood wants to reach as many kids as possible – especially inner-city youth that might not otherwise have the opportunity.

“We’ve had great participation. We use the Tinkercad program for 3D printing designs in the class, which is an AutoCAD system for beginners,” Youngblood said.

There are also more advanced programs available. High school students can even go on to earn credentials recognized by the Ohio Department of Education through Evolve.

“Many of these kids have the capabilities but don’t always have the best support system,” Kelly said. CAD is the future. It’s almost like the typing class of the past. No matter what field you go into, technology is going to be the future.”

The summer classes at the YMCA were packed, and the hope is to continue the program and expand the number of sessions.

“We’re trying to change the script for some kids that will likely have a tougher time than others getting into the industry. Even if they don’t go into construction, it feeds a greater scope because they can go do other things with their skills,” Kelly added.

The end goal is to expose kids to all opportunities which will help develop the future workforce.

Hopes for local 3D housing
As for Pantheon’s goals, the company has a “first order of business” for 3D housing plans in the area.

“We want to build mission-based, homeless housing, places for pregnant mothers and long-term homeownership. The interest is there, we just need to generate funding and partners to make it happen,” Kelly said.

Youngblood says the interest outside the Mahoning Valley is a little more inviting, but he remains hopeful more people will come around to accept the idea.

“We feel that being part of MVMC, we can introduce people to this and expedite our effort.” 

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Faces of Manufacturing

Machining apprenticeship helps local woman advance her manufacturing career

It’s safe to say that manufacturing and the trades have been a part of Amelia Roberts’ life since she can remember. Growing up, her family demonstrated the importance of hard work.  

“My family is nothing but construction workers, truck drivers and welders, but I always wanted to be in manufacturing in some way,” Amelia said.

She’s married with a three-year-old and lives in Lisbon next to her parents who own a farm and run a trucking company. Being busy and working with her hands is familiar territory.

“I know hard work. I put everything into what I do. I’m used to fast-paced learning, and I still try to absorb everything I can,” she said.

“Brazing” career paths

During high school, Amelia enrolled at Columbiana County Career and Technical Center for welding. After graduation, she started working for Compco as a production welder and fabricator.

Compco acquired Quaker Manufacturing in Salem in 2017 – which is now CQL Manufacturing. That’s where Amelia has been working for the last five years.

She’s been successful with welding but wanted to switch things up and train to be a die maintenance technician (DMT). That led her to the registered apprenticeship program for machining and taking classes at CCCTC.

“Machining has everything I want to learn – like dealing with different types of metals and tools, working on presses, being able to diagnose issues and how to fix those issues,” Amelia said. “It’s a lot of repair work and running machines like the surface grinder, lathe, mill, hand tools and other conventional tools.”

Tool and die makers construct precision tools or metal forms, called dies, that are used to cut, shape and form metal and other materials. They produce devices that hold metal while it’s bored, stamped or drilled.

“If something breaks down, or there’s a problem with the steel, you’d have to fix it by using whatever the best process would be. It’s pretty much like a mechanic, but instead of cars, I work on dies,” she said.

Amelia enjoys the variety of the job and the fact she’s always learning new skills.

“It makes your brain work a little more. I have fantastic mentors. They’re smart, and they’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, so they help me out quite a bit,” she said.

Apprenticeship expectations

She was the only new apprentice in the fall of 2023.

“I was surprised there was no one else, but it also means more one-on-one time with the instructor,” Amelia said.

The apprenticeship takes two years to complete. The classes at CCCTC are two days a week for three hours. Amelia was able to start working in tool and die over the summer and is grateful for the little bit of experience with machines before moving into the program.

MVMC offers a registered apprenticeship in machining for its members. There is an upfront cost, but most of the training is eligible for reimbursement by the state. Compco has been able to fill talent gaps for the last few years by participating. It’s only offered to employees in good standing who are willing to commit to the process.

For Amelia, that isn’t a problem. She’s a dedicated, loyal employee.

“I’ve been with the same company since high school. I don’t plan on going anywhere. The atmosphere is good, the people are good, and everyone seems to get along here,” she said.

Confidence, courage and conquering goals

As a woman in manufacturing, she says CQL has a good work culture and feels supported. Amelia is also confident in her abilities. She encourages other women not to feel intimidated by this kind of work.

“You’ve got to know the basics, but there are people to help you out with everything,” she said.

Her average day starts at 5 a.m. working on dies. If a press call comes through, she immediately attends to that.

“Production is the most important, so we stop what we’re doing to figure out what’s going on with the press. Sometimes it’s a changeover,” Amelia said.  

There are some awkward aspects of the job, too.

“I literally had to lie down on a die inside a press for a repair. You just never know what the day will bring, but we’re constantly moving and doing something different,” she said.

No matter what, she keeps the end goal in mind.

“I’ll learn more skills, get a NIMS certificate, and I want to be a pro at this kind of stuff. I want to know exactly what to do when problems arise. I also want to help future apprentices, too,” she said.

Amelia has long-term goals as well.

“I’d love to be an engineer – whether it’s welding or another type of engineer in manufacturing,” she said.

She’s also grateful for her family’s support on her career journey.

“Family is big for me, and they’re loving what I’m doing.”

For more information on MVMC’s registered apprenticeship program, contact Alex Hertzer.

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Faces of Manufacturing Uncategorized

WorkAdvance helps Choffin graduate “cook up” new career path

Even though Savana Cline is fresh out of high school with a lot of ropes to learn, her reputation shines bright at Trivium Packaging in Youngstown. Her demeanor seems quiet and shy, but she’s passionate and hard-working.  

Savana and a few others in her class from Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown participated in a three-week high school WorkAdvance bootcamp in spring of 2023. After graduating, she was hired in June as a general laborer at Trivium.

Taking a chance on WorkAdvance

Savana was onboard after MVMC and a Trivium representative came to her class to do a presentation about WorkAdvance. However, manufacturing wasn’t always at the forefront of her mind.

“I was going to Choffin for culinary, and I really liked that,” she said.

Out of curiosity, she signed up for the bootcamp.

“We had classes at Eastern Gateway Community College and eventually went to Trivium for a tour,” she said.

The classes consist of learning math skills and basics about manufacturing. The National Center for Urban Solutions in Youngstown offered career readiness training to help with communication, building a resume, the interview process and career coaching.

At the plant, the noise shocked Savana at first, but she quickly acclimated. She even encouraged her doubtful classmates to stick things out and keep trying.

“They showed us the line machines in the beginning, so it was a little overwhelming. There was a lot going on,” she said.

She felt more at ease after learning other positions were available that she preferred. Trivium is also nothing new to her. Savana’s mom, Christine, has been at the company for more than a year as a quality assurance technician.

She says the WorkAdvance bootcamp experience was rewarding, and the process was smooth.

“Everything was easygoing, and the staff was helpful. They would even get us food and snacks. We got individual help, and I have everyone’s number to call anytime,” she said.

At the ceremony for completing the bootcamp, she signed an agreement to work at Trivium.

“I was excited and a little nervous because it was new, and I didn’t really know anyone. I only got to see a small part of the plant, but I was interested in everything,” she said.

Bring on the boxes

Savana’s job is packing boxes of cans that get shipped to customers in the U.S. and Brazil. At the start of her shift, she checks two buildings for packing assignments. Then, it’s off to the races to get boxes ready for shipping.

“I don’t know the exact number of boxes I can do in a day, but I know I can get through a lot,” she said.

Bill Church is Savana’s manager. He says every customer dictates what’s needed for packing, and she gets the information from the computer.

“It shows the name of the product, the details for the order and how to pack it,” Savana said.

Once everything is boxed, a forklift either takes it to storage or to a truck, if it’s available.

High praises and hard work

Trust and honesty are two things that are notably apparent in Bill and Savana’s working relationship.

“She doesn’t need managed. She hit the ground running. When she started, I showed her what to do, and the next thing I knew, she was bouncing back and forth packing boxes. She was also training new people within days,” Bill said.

He says the job is helping Savana with communication skills and getting her out of her comfort zone. Most importantly, she comes in and gets the work done.

“Some kids don’t have a foundation as good as Savana’s. She sets the bar high. There’s nothing she won’t be able to do if she puts her mind to it,” Bill said.

Right now, she’s working dayshift – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The days off alternate, so in a two-week period, she works just seven days. General laborers start out around $16 an hour at Trivium. Then, raises are given for certain benchmarks and promotions.

Financial freedom and a bright future

Savana isn’t dismissing the idea of moving up at the company.

“I’m still getting my feet wet, but I would eventually think about moving to a line job,” she said.

Along with Trivium’s good benefits package, she’s most excited about what this job means for her financial future.

“First, there’s no college debt. I feel like I will retire far better off than my parents will. I am going to be well-equipped and prepared if something does happen in the future. All I’m doing right now is saving money,” Savanna said.

A couple of her goals include owning a house and a truck someday.

Savana had three different food-related jobs before working at Trivium. In addition to her cooking skills, she also has experience with construction, fixing cars and tree cutting.

“That was because of my dad. I would do side jobs with him. I wanted to learn that stuff,” she said.

Art, crocheting, woodworking and embroidery are also some of her hobbies. She also stays busy keeping up with her five siblings.

Savana is proud to spread the word about manufacturing jobs – even if it’s just planting a seed in someone’s mind.

“I talked to a friend who was going to Choffin for welding, but he decided to go to college for now. I also might get to speak to other students who are interested in these jobs,” she said.

Her best advice for those starting out is simple.

“Just give it time. If you think a job is not for you, look at other options. If you’re not a good fit in one place, you can always try somewhere else.”

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Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: International Steel & Counterweights

Community outreach and giving second chances are two big reasons why International Steel & Counterweights joined Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition. The Youngstown company continues to battle a revolving door of employees – a familiar story in the manufacturing world.

International Steel & Counterweights has been at the North West Avenue location since its founding about 14 years ago. The company has grown to around 120 employees – fully occupying an historic and century-old industrial complex.

ISC is owned by AMG Resources Corporation, of Pittsburgh. The company is primarily a recycled metals – with ISC being the only manufacturing facility it has.

“While we are a global organization, we’re a different piece of the puzzle for them, turning metal products into finished goods,” said Larry Wiley, operations manager at International Steel & Counterweights.

Where counterweights are used

ISC makes counterweights for applications from around the world.

“Ballast and counterweights are used in every conceivable application where something needs to be pushed, pulled, lifted or anchored,” Wiley said.

The president of ISC has been in the counterweight business for more than 45 years. He started off renting a small part of the current location, but as the company grew, he ended up taking over the whole building.

ISC primarily serves customers in the counterweight industry, but the company also serves the market as a machine shop, metal service center and full-service scrap yard. ISC prides itself on being as environmentally friendly as possible.

“One of the best things about steel is that it’s the most recyclable product in the world. Nothing is wasted. We are fortunate that we have developed customers that can use steel in its every form. We have a home for every part of steel, from the beginning of its life to the end of its life, where ultimately, it’s remelted and starts life again,” Wiley said.

“In a nutshell, we’re a very large production and fabrication shop,” Wiley said.

Customers are spread throughout the United States, North America and even some overseas.

“Our business model allows us to bring savings and value to just about every corner of the world,” Wiley said.

Kristin Wheatley, the senior HR business partner at ISC, says the company is always getting creative meeting customer demands and creating products to offer customers.

“There isn’t one format for anything here. This makes our work interesting and gives us room to keep developing new offerings to the market,” Wheatley said.

The MVMC impact

As far as building a workforce, ISC wants to help people who are restarting their lives and finding a new career. The company attended the MVMC-hosted Ohio to Work impact breakfast in January, and management was on board from there.

“When we heard about WorkAdvance, that was it for us. The fundamentals are being taught in those bootcamps. That’s our biggest struggle. Candidates need to know things like basic math skills and being comfortable in a manufacturing facility,” Wheatley said.

She stresses the company needs machine operators, but the challenge is getting employees to show up every day and knowing how to behave in the workplace.

“For instance, not having someone get mad and complain because we told them to put their phone away. It’s a safety issue, and the person is also not working,” Wheatley said.

ISC needs people from all experience levels that are willing to learn, develop and grow with the company.

“Make the commitment before day one. If someone shows up on the most basic level, we will notice that. We will move people to a better job with more opportunity as rapidly as possible, but they have to make that commitment,” Wiley said.

Forward-thinking mindset

Patience is another piece of advice for job seekers.

“You’ll be in a busy, fast-paced facility. Give it time to feel comfortable and progress. People get intimidated and give up. We’ll train on every level,” Wheatley said.

The company is also putting in some advanced manufacturing and automation tools at the plant, but they’re not replacing jobs. Workers are still needed to set up and run all facets of production and manufacturing. The goal is to help cut down on physical labor and speed up the time getting products to market.

Wheatley says the days of college being the only option for a good career are ending.

“It’s about changing the mindset. Buildings are going up. Companies are opening. We just need the workers to come in,” she said.

She added many supervisors at the plant had entry-level positions before working their way up. The president of the company even started out sweeping floors. Management is eager to see how being part of MVMC will help ISC’s workforce.

“It’s an adventure for us, and we’re going to learn as much as we can in this beneficial partnership,” Wiley said.

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Faces of Manufacturing

WorkAdvance helps local woman make life-changing moves

A difficult life lesson is transformed into hard work, consistency and a sense of purpose for a Warren mother. Ashley Zins has never held what she calls “typical jobs”. She describes herself as artistic, creative and has worked in manufacturing settings before – including a granite company.

 

However, she hit a bump that slowed her career journey for a while. Zins was justice impacted for OVI offenses, and part of her two-year sentence was to complete a program at the Community Corrections Association (CCA).

 

“When I was in jail, I was where I needed to be. I was on a bad path. I felt like God sat me down in there to learn from this,” Zins said.

 

A pivotal moment
She’s the mother to a teenager and a 21-year-old, and she often worried how being away would affect them.

 

After a couple of months at CCA, she saw a WorkAdvance flyer. That was a turning point for her life.

 

“The job coordinator pointed me to it, and I was interested. I ended up filling out an application and got accepted in November of 2022,” Zins said.

 

Then, in December, she became part of the WorkAdvance cohort with more than a dozen others. Participants go through classes and career readiness as part of the experience through the National Center for Urban Solutions and Eastern Gateway Community College.

 

“I have always enjoyed manufacturing because you get to make things. I’ll even do little projects in my spare time. My dad always said not to rely on a man to take care of me, and my mom was the same way,” Zins said.

 

The first steps
Meanwhile, she requested an early release from CCA, and one of the requirements was to be employed. Her first choice was ClarkDietrich in Vienna, a WorkAdvance partner, but that posed a transportation challenge with her suspended license and the plant not being on the bus line.

 

CCA denied her early release, but to go home, she still needed a temporary job to pay off a fine.  That’s when the NCUS and MVMC stepped in to help get her a job at a dry cleaner.

 

On March 18, Zins left CCA after completing the requirements. She credits the WorkAdvance opportunity for a second chance at life.

 

“I’m just so thankful for everyone. The career coaches still check up on me. The interview classes really helped me with communication. It gave me confidence, and all the support has boosted that. Now, I get to help others in similar situations,” Zins added.

 

Breaking free
She quit the dry cleaner a couple months ago and was hired at ClarkDietrich. She works on the pack line and plans to be there as long as possible.

 

“I’m hitting all my marks, so far, and bonus money has been a blessing. I have to be there a while longer for apprenticeship consideration, but I plan to do that and work my way up at the company,” Zins said.

 

She’s relieved to have a steady income and not be as stressed about money and paying bills. Zins has also been sober for three years, sponsors people in recovery, does talks in meetings and regularly attends them for herself.

 

“I really believe in karma and putting out the good. You just have to keep giving back. It’s not hard. You have to do the work and keep showing up,” Zins said.

 

It’s been a somber reality check when she reflects on everything that happened.

 

“I could’ve killed someone, and then, seeing how everything affected my kids. I’m thankfully working on repairing relationships with them now,” Zins said.

 

“I know what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t want to lose my family,” she added.


Building a future
Now that she’s made monumental changes, the future includes helping others do the same. Zins will continue working with people in recovery and wants to eventually become a chemical dependency counselor. She’s currently taking classes through Kent State University.

 

One of her long-term goals is to build a better community. Most recently, she spoke to participants in the All-Women WorkAdvance cohort about her story and experience. Those who have helped her up to this point are happy to see her succeeding.

 

“I was impressed, right away, with Ashley’s desire to have a good job and be active in her community, and I’m glad she’s doing so well,” said Kelly Bancroft, project manager for the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.

Categories
Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: TEMA Roofing Services

 

TEMA is woman-owned by CFO Margaret (Meg) Froelich. She is married to owner and president Thomas Froelich Junior. Before TEMA existed, Thomas worked at Roth Bros. and eventually became owner. His father-in-law, Bill Charles, led the development of the roofing division at Roth Bros. and was Thomas’s boss and mentor throughout his career. Charles serves as senior consultant at TEMA Roofing with nearly 60 years’ experience.

In 2011, Thomas and his partners sold Roth Bros. to Sodexo. After that, Thomas and Meg started building TEMA and have made an impression in the roofing world ever since.

 

So, why “TEMA”?

 

The letters stand for ‘Thomas Edward Margaret Ann’. As part of the logo, the five bars next to the name represent the couple’s five children. The sons, Justin, Adam, Scott and Tommy all carry the title of vice president at TEMA. Their daughter, Kate, is in the health and fitness world but organizes the wellness program at the company.

 

Right now, TEMA has at least 40 employees. The company serves northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania and does some business around the country. As expected, the spring and summer are busy seasons.

 

TEMA has a lot of contracts with area schools, so this is the time crews are out doing maintenance and repair for those buildings. The company most recently learned it will be doing work at the new recreation and wellness center at Warren G. Harding High School. It’s one of the biggest projects landed in the last five years.

 

Reputable roofing

 

Along with a good reputation and integrity, a presence in the market is what drives TEMA’s growth. Megan Wine, the business development executive, says customer service is a big part of the vision and mission for the company.

 

“Coming to a smaller, family company, it’s good they have heart and passion behind what they do. They genuinely care about their employees and the people they do business with,” Wine said.

 

She has been with the company for two years and was promoted to her position in January 2023. Her role includes being at community events, sales and promoting TEMA’s services for industrial and commercial roofing – including the asset management program.

 

“We work with companies that have anywhere from one building to multiple complexes or facilities,” Wine said.

 

TEMA offers multiple programs like leak repairs, restoration, preventative maintenance and new construction. There’s also an emergency response team available anytime for commercial customers.

 

Community connection

The family prides itself not only in building partnerships and good relationships but also in giving back to the community. This year, two of the sons attached big accomplishments to their names.

Justin Froelich was presented with the Business Advocate of the Year award through the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. He’s involved with the chamber, the Youngstown Rotary Club, Youngstown Business Incubator, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley and the Salvation Army, to name a few. Scott Froelich was named president of The Builders Association where he’s been a member since 2017 and is active with the American Seniors Housing Association.

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Faces of Manufacturing Uncategorized

New member spotlight: AML Industries

MVMC welcomes Advanced Metalforming Lubricants (AML) Industries, located on Pine Avenue Southeast in Warren – just across the tracks from the Municipal Building.

 

AML Industries was founded in 1989 and is owned by Dave Gurska, the president of the company. It’s been in the same location since it started with just three or four employees and has since grown to 31. The company specializes in quality lubricants and coatings for metalformers throughout the world.

 

Forged with integrity

 

Matt Natale is vice president at AML. He says the company sells to businesses who make parts for the auto industry, aerospace, military, oil and gas industry, as well as agricultural equipment.

 

“Lubricants would be used for crank shafts, gears, anything that needs structural integrity,” Natale said. “Anywhere there is a lot of pressure, too, you need a forged part.”

 

He says forging is basically putting a solid piece of metal between two dyes and pressing it to strengthen, or forge, the part with the lubricant.

 

“There are about 7 or 8 families of lubricants that AML supplies, which are all specific to different parts and industries,” Natale said.

 

Glenn “LG” McClellan III, operations manager at AML, likes to refer to the company’s product as “industrial cooking spray.” He’s been at the plant for 12 years and got the nickname “LG” or “Little Glenn” since he’s named after his father. McClellan oversees safety and compliance, personnel, production, scheduling, and anything to do with operations.

Refocused on workforce building

 

Immediately, Natale says the company needs five operators. The position requires running heavy equipment, machines and material processes.

 

“We’re projected to need 10 people by the end of 2023,” Natale said.

 

He says it’s been difficult finding help post-Covid.

 

“We’re willing to hire prospects with a non-violent, felony record. We’re big into giving people second chances, and we try to understand things happen,” Natale said.

 

AML was able to stay open in 2020 but couldn’t avoid layoffs due to business being almost zero.

 

“We were able to secure money through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP loan), and without that, we most definitely would’ve had to close, or at least temporarily,” Natale said.

 

The company was considered essential during the pandemic, but McClelland says when things started getting back to normal, AML had to find new hires because almost none of the laid off employees came back. He says business is booming now, but more staff is needed to support the work.

 

Eyes on efficiency

 

 

Natale says the slowdown was eye-opening for building efficiency. The company has been able to improve processes for equipment and management of workflow.

 

McClellan mentioned there are three ongoing projects being paid for by the Ohio Safety Intervention Grant, which is through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. These projects will eliminate risk to workers and improve efficiency of jobs. About a year ago, the company was also able to put in a new chemistry lab.

 

 

AML is family

 

A big takeaway Natale and McClellan want potential employees to know about AML Industries is that it’s a family atmosphere.

 

“You’re not just a number here. Anyone can talk to management about anything, or if a problem is going on, we’ll have that connection with them,” Natale said. “Sometimes we have even floated people money for groceries or something like that.”

 

Management is also not afraid of being in the trenches. Natale and McClellan say they have both been in the plant alongside workers at some point. It’s about showing appreciation for employees and what they do.

 

 

“We’ve even ordered food trucks to come sometimes as a treat for everyone,” said McClellan.

 

Why join MVMC?

 

 

Finding workers is a priority, and McClellan says the company learned about the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition at a recent job fair. A member was walking around with information, and he says it looked like there was a lot of recognition among vendors.

 

“It seemed like the group had a lot of impact, so I brought the information back to Matt, and we just decided from there it would be a good idea,” said McClellan.

 

He also sees the benefits of the MVMC’s WorkAdvance program. McClellan was able to sit down recently with several boot camp participants and tell them about AML Industries. Some of them are former justice involved citizens.

 

“They all had great questions, and I think they have a leg up over staffing services,” said McClellan. “What I’m mostly seeing from other job services, I’ll make the initial contact, but either people don’t come for the interview, or they don’t reply to my message about our interest in them.”

 

He says it seems the prospects coming through WorkAdvance are intentional about being job ready. The same group also toured AML, and a couple even expressed interest in interviewing for a job.

 

McClellan also says he’s interested in the MVMC-sponsored LEAN manufacturing course. AML is excited about training access for employees, youth outreach initiatives, as well as getting the company’s name out there.

 

“We saw some customers in larger areas joining similar coalitions to help get workers. We’re a small business, so sometimes we’re competing with bigger names, so being part of MVMC might help with this,” Natale said.

 

Interested in joining MVMC yourself? Contact Alex Hertzer at alex@mahoningvalleymfg.com.

Categories
Faces of Manufacturing Uncategorized

Roundtable Carves Pathway to Boost Women in Manufacturing

While women make up 51% of the U.S. population, they represent only 27% of the manufacturing workforce in Ohio, according to Hard Hatted Women Ohio.

 

The Manufacturing Institute’s “35×30” national campaign is pushing to get representation of women in the industry to 35% by 2030. Right now, it’s about 30%. HHW Ohio says here in the Mahoning Valley, the number shrinks to 23%. That means closing a 12% gap.

 

“We have seven short years to exceed that goal because once we set a target, usually we aim a little higher,” said Julie Michael Smith, program director at the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.

 

The plan to make that goal possible was the focus at the Women in Manufacturing Roundtable on February 16 at Vallourec in Youngstown. Kaci Roach, executive director of HHW Ohio, was the guest speaker. More than two dozen others were part of the conversation, including the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, as well as the Vallourec North America Talent Management Director Chris Allen, and the Women@Vallourec.

Since 1979, HHW Ohio has been dedicated to helping women grow and succeed in high demand, high wage jobs and bring awareness to career options they might not otherwise consider.

 

“There’s really great research from the Manufacturing Institute that shows that women are interested are getting into and moving up in these careers,” said Roach.

 

She says recruitment and retention are the ways to address low numbers, and you achieve that through awareness, belonging and professional advancement.

 

Engaging early builds awareness
Roach says engagement with community-based organizations gives more trusted voices to your effort and builds strong relationships.

 

“Research shows girls as young as 10 begin to view manufacturing and other hands-on professions as gender based, or ‘for the boys.’ This perception continues to grow as women select their educational and career pathways creating a knowledge deficit of what other opportunities exist in manufacturing and outdated models of manufacturing,” Roach said.

 

She says a great action to take is engaging with K-12 programs and the Girl Scouts. She says there are badges dedicated to career exploration and working hands-on with STEM.

 

“Disrupt the narrative at a young age. Empower women in your community to become role models,” Roach said.

 

She encourages employees to be community leaders by participating in career fairs, classroom visits and mentorship.

 

“It shows yes, women are here, and we belong in manufacturing,” Roach said.

 

Women need to feel sense of belonging
According to the Harvard Business Review, a high sense of belonging is linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk and 75% reduction of sick days. Roach says groups like Women@Vallourec is a great benefit in the workplace, and it helps to have flex scheduling, or group scheduling, so employees can have family balance.

 

“Essentially there are groups or pods of employees who are responsible for covering each other’s space, so they work as a collective unit to cover times and shifts,” Roach said.

 

Roach also believes companies need strong family leave policies, nursing facilities, and women need to feel their concerns are being addressed.

 

Prioritizing professional advancement
HHW Ohio says 44% of Mahoning Valley households have a single parent. Roach says some women run into what’s called the “benefits cliff.” This means they have a lower paying job, receive some type of government assistance, but can’t get a higher paying job without losing the assistance needed to survive.

 

Roach says this is where companies can offer child care subsidies to offset costs, or employees can do wrap-around support while women work into more sustainable employment.

 

HHW Ohio has also developed a program called WISE Pathways. It brings together community-based organizations, education/training providers and businesses to create a supportive pathway for women in male-dominated jobs.

 

The two primary elements are career exploration and coaching by industry and role model speakers.  Roach says women need to be encouraged to share their stories and empower others.

 

Local WISE Pathways connection
WISE Pathways is partnering with Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown and MVMC to run a program this summer. Roach says the idea is for each woman who participates to have a personal connection at the end.

 

“Schedule mock interviews that can turn into real interviews, if the employer is willing, so they’re able to network with hiring companies as direct result of WISE Pathways,” Roach said.

 

About Women@Vallourec
Women@Vallourec started at the corporate level, but also organizes at the Youngstown plant. Members meet twice a month to discuss any issues and create tangible actions to increase the representation of women.

 

Abigail Bonavides, the corporate leader of Women@Vallourec, was invited to the roundtable to talk about the program and what it means for the company. She has more than seven years of experience in human resources and focuses on the training and development pipeline to increase the number of women at the company to 25%.

 

The four pillars of the program are recruitment, retention, education and career advancement. The goal is to make sure women have what they need in the workplace such as locker rooms, uniforms, family leave policies, as well as making sure concerns are being addressed.

 

Bonavides was also joined by Katia Rogaume, the sourcing director for Vallourec in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. She is responsible for making sure women have a safe space to share their experiences and getting problems solved in a timely manner.