Local tool & die makers apprentice contest
The Rockford Tooling and Machining Association (RTMA), the local chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, held its 28th Annual Tool and Die Apprentice contest for fourth-year apprentices last Saturday.
One selected, the winner of the local competition who will go on to compete for over $100,000 in prizes at the national competition in Michigan against the top apprentice toolmakers from all around the country.
The Rockford representative has taken first place at the competition three times since the contest originated in 1973. In 1995, Greg Bankes of Action Tool & Die placed first at the national level, while last year, Jared Lyford of Tower Tool & Engineering took third place in the National Contest held in Milpitas, Calif.
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 journeymans 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, nearly 700 local men and women have launched tool and die making and precision machining careers after receiving their apprenticeship certifications 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) 229-5500.