Local tool & die makers apprentice contest winners

Local tool & die makers apprentice contest winners


The Rockford Tooling and Machining Association (RTMA), the local chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), announces the winners of the 29th Annual Tool and Die Apprentice Contest for fourth-year apprentices. The contest was held on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001.

Winners and sponsoring companies are: 1st Place—Benjamin Schmitt, Rockford Toolcraft; 2nd Place—Mike Mauerman, Tower Tool & Engineering; 3rd Place—Mike Kessel, Action Tool & Die; 4th Place—Kirk Chezen, Honeywell International; 5th Place—Jeremy Trout, Action Tool & Die.

Schmitt will go on to compete for over $100,000 in prizes in May at the national competition in Los Angeles, Calif. against the top apprentice toolmakers from all around the country. The Rockford representative has taken first place at the national competition three times since the contest originated in 1973. Most recently, in 1995, Greg Bankes of Action Tool & Die placed first at the national level.

The RTMA works in conjunction with Rock Valley College and the U.S. Dept. of Labor/Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training in administering the 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and the additional 620 classroom and lab hours that the apprentices must successfully complete in order to receive their journeyman’s card as a nationally accredited tool and die maker.

The RTMA is a group of tool and die shops, contract machine shops, and custom manufacturers in the Rockford/stateline area. Since 1960, more than 700 local men and women have launched tool and die making and precision machining careers after receiving their apprenticeship certification through the RTMA. Since its founding in 1957 with eight members, it has grown to more than 50 regular member companies and 40 associate member companies. For more information, contact Bryan Redington (Redington Enterprises/RTMA Public Relations) at (815) 558-1325.

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