SCHAUMBURG, IL - TMA new President Patrick Osborne started the month of July 2021 in a new position at the Technology & Manufacturing Association headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. President Osborne, succeeding the retiring president Steve Rauschenberger, has a background that is unique and interesting, as we found out in the June 2015 TMA News Bulletin:
Patrick Osborne emigrated from Ireland when he was 18 years old. He did so for one reason: the “plethora of opportunity” in America.
Trained at an Irish state school to be a tool and die maker, his first job in America was at a mold-making company. Today, as TMA’s Vice President of Training & Education, Patrick says he’s training tomorrow’s “surgeons of steel.”
TMA News Bulletin (NB) sat down with Osborne just before TMA’s 2015 Related Theory Graduation of 43 students.
NB: What did you do before coming to TMA’s Education Department in 2011?
Osborne: I was the director of education for the American Supply Association.
In 1987, I came over from Ireland as a tool and die apprentice, got a job with a TMA member and ended up going into TMA apprenticeship training. I did that for a year before I left the trade and went back to college. I got a degree in English literature and a master’s in teaching. I worked in teaching, education publishing and association development. Then I saw the job posting for TMA.
Twenty years later, I thought manufacturing had mostly moved offshore. I was surprised that the job at TMA was open, and thought I had a really good skill set with the apprentice training. The rest is history …
NB: How are you using all that experience in your work here at TMA?
Osborne: Rebuilding existing curriculum, building new curriculum and adding new programming. Hands-on training has become very important - especially CNC training. Reinvigorating the program is crucial.
NB: Last year was the first year TMA had training graduates for several years. What was going on before last year?
Osborne: A decade ago or so, TMA had graduating classes of close to 400. With the inclusion of spouses, family, speakers and guests, TMA rented out the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont for the graduation ceremony. Then training dwindled, dwindled, dwindled, and when I came on board in 2011, it had stopped altogether – falling from 400- ish down to zero. Now we’re back up to 150 students.
NB: What happened to all those trainees from 2009 to 2014?
Osborne: Offshoring of tooling is one thing. It went over to China and down to Mexico – that was a part of it. A lot of people in the manufacturing workforce became truck drivers as companies laid off and downsized. Automation was a huge component, too, so if you could bring in a robot, it would replace three, four men, and at the same time, technology increased. So manufacturing got leaner, meaner and smarter.
The last graduating class before last year was 2009. It takes three years to complete a course, and when I came on in 2011, I started a class that graduated last year. This year’s class will be our second graduating class since TMA training started up again.
NB: What are some of the talking points you use to attract new machinist students?
Osborne: People interested in learning manufacturing skills often enter the workforce with no debt, and their employers often pay for their training. Case studies done a number of years ago compared those coming out of high school and going to college with those at tool and die training. After three years, a typical college student was in the red – underwater – because of student loans, and the tool and die student was earning while he was learning ... and was in the green.
They’re “surgeons of steel” – a term I’ve heard students use about themselves. The thought of grinding something to within a tenth-of-a-thousand accuracy is like surgery. They really are surgeons of steel.
NB: Do employers pay for their workers’ TMA training?
Osborne: I don’t have the metrics on that, but I’d say 90 to 100 percent of the employers pay their student-employees to come to class at TMA. The employers pay them to work during the day, and for their schooling at night. Also their books – and some of them pay the student to come to class at night. So the students are getting paid 40 to 50 hours (there’s a lot of overtime out there) during the day, and then they’re paying employees to come to TMA training.
NB: The first year of TMA training is mostly theory, but you’re trying to work in more hands-on training?
Osborne: It’s a three-year program. First year is math, blueprint reading and machine tool technology. It is still mostly theory, but I did buy some manual equipment last year so students are getting access to machines.
NB: What about the second year?
Osborne: The second year is mostly theory, and it’s a whole year of machine tool technology. My goal is to have students access machines, especially CNC machines. Once we’re set up here (at TMA), we’ll definitely roll that out.
The last TMA training year is a specialty year, when students choose whether to become tool and die makers, mold makers or CNC programmers. The CNC programmers are mostly on the machines, tool and die and mold are still more theory. I’m trying to put more tools into instructors’ hands to do a little more hands on.
NB: How is the TMA training for tool making different from mechanical engineering?
Osborne: Engineering is a different science. You can have an engineer design a tool and a mold, but the guys that actually get those prints and machine it, and make it, and build it – there’s a difference, and it’s a very different, unique skill set.
I go back to “surgeons of steel,” because it’s not about just getting the components and putting them together, they have to fit precisely, and getting them to fit is a science in itself.
You can feed stock steel into a form, and it depends on how it bends as to how it will work. Engineers have to visualize how it will work – CAM programs will help them do that – but it’s the toolmaker at the end that has to build it – his input is valuable.
NB: What do you hope to see develop in TMA Training next year?
Osborne: We are going to have an advanced CNC Training next year – definitely more high level CNC training that would entail 3-D Milling, Y-Axis lathe training, and the goal is to ultimately get up to 5-Axis training that will meet the needs of current members and attract new members to TMA.
As TMA’s Vice President of Training & Education, Osborne oversees fifteen instructors and staff as well as TMA Foundation staff that work to interest community colleges, high schools and youth groups into training. For Osborne, nothing could be more important than passing onto the next generation of American workers the same “plethora of opportunity” that enticed him as a young Irish immigrant to cross the Atlantic Ocean years ago.
CONCLUSION - And now, Patrick Osborne is president of the Technology & Manufacturing Association, starting July 1st, 2021.
ITASCA ILLINOIS - Members and associates of the Technology & Manufacturing Association enjoyed a sold out golf outing on June 17 at the Itasca Country Club in Itasca Illinois.
Photos of the event are available on Facebook HERE:
Illinois manufacturers, small businesses will face higher costs with 2022 state budget, TMA president says
SCHAUMBURG - In response to the majority of the Illinois General Assembly voting to accept Governor Pritzker's FY 2022 Budget of over $42 billion, Technology & Manufacturing Association President Steve Rauschenberger said that small businesses will be forced to carry the brunt of additional tax hikes.
“If state Democrats led by Governor Pritzker had a goal of taking a final punishing blow to the Illinois economy, business community, and taxpayers, then they succeeded and even added some extra punches to make sure manufacturers and small businesses could never succeed in this state," Rauschberger said.
The coming tax hikes on small businesses, expensive energy reform proposals will increase costs and decrease reliability, while changes in employment and labor laws and even a constitutional amendment will support unions. To top it off, unfair redistricting maps will place another 10-year stronghold on state politics all culminate to be a knockout punch for any hope for positive business growth in our state, he went on to say.
“The extravagant and unaffordable budget continues the Governor's massive tax and spend policies and shows absolutely no fiscal restraint. The largest punch the Governor will throw is removing so called 'corporate loopholes' that are actually tax incentives manufacturers and small businesses across Illinois use to help create jobs for Illinoisans," Rauschenberger said.
Closing the "loopholes" will cost job creators a significant amount of money, he said. It is just another way for the state government to take more of money earned.
“This has been one of the most dysfunctional end of sessions in Illinois history and it’ll bring irreparable damage to already struggling manufacturers and businesses, yet Democrats will chalk this up as a success. The manufacturing community will not be fooled or forget.”
More at www.tmaillinois.org
BOLINGBROOK - Home to a national floor mat manufacturer, Bolingbrook, just southwest of Chicago, also hosts important TMA members such as Prater Industries.
Prater Industries graciously opened their doors to host a TMA Blueprint Reading class over the last two Saturdays.
TMA is looking to expand its locations and class offerings over the next few years to encourage growth among manufacturers and their teams' skills.
For more information on TMA's ongoing classes in an array of topics that would benefit team members at all levels, check out: https://www.tmaillinois.org/class-calendar.html
According to the latest data from the Institute for Supply Management, expansion in manufacturing is still on the rise despite record-long lead times and wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials. The manufacturing sector as a whole has consistently grown each month since April 2020, a full year of expansion.
The ISM Purchasing Manager’s Index rose half a percentage point to 61.2% in May, growing at a faster rate last month than in April. The production index fell four points to 58.5%, indicating continued growth at a slower rate: like the main index, production has grown consistently since April of last year.
“Record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices and difficulties in transporting products are continuing to affect all segments of the manufacturing economy,” said Timothy Fiore, who chairs the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. At the same time, he said, optimism among survey respondents increased compared to April.
More at INDUSTRY WEEK
Manufacturing Community and Local Mayors Share Same Optimism on Working Together but Same Concerns Over State Government
TMA’s Manufacturing Matters for Mayors Breakfast was a Collaborative Discussion on the Industry, Jobs, and Local Economies Post-Pandemic
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Nearly 25 local municipal leaders and manufacturing executives met at the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) for the 3rd Annual Manufacturing Matters for Mayors Breakfast, a collaborative discussion to explore how our local leaders and manufacturers can work together to improve our communities and strengthen our workforce.
“This discussion between the manufacturers and local leaders here today is so important because when you boil it down, we all want the same thing: lower taxes for our local businesses, more high-paying jobs for our communities, a career path for students that includes high-tech manufacturing training, and a chance to produce goods and create an economic hub right here in the true manufacturing heartland of America,” said TMA President Steve Rauschenberger. “But state lawmakers are making it even more difficult for our manufacturers to be competitive and succeed. Local mayors know as well as we do what the higher taxes and anti-business legislation from Springfield means for our communities, but if we can work together with our municipal leaders, we can influence real, positive change.”
Manufacturing plays a vital role in our local economies. In fact, the Chicagoland area contains 5 of the 10 largest manufacturing zip codes in the United States. Because of this, TMA brought our manufacturing community and our local leaders together so they could foster a more impactful relationship and pursue solutions for their shared local interests and issues. Especially now, it’s important that our local leaders and manufacturers collaborate as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, when many manufacturers are trying to get back on their feet and put their employees – and local residents – back to work. TMA’s event was also an opportunity for local leaders to meet newly elected mayors from April.
Mayors and/or representatives from Addison, Alsip, Broadview, Cary, Elgin, Franklin Park, Hampshire, Hoffman Estates, Maywood, Orland Park, Park Forest, Roselle, Schaumburg, and Schiller Park were in attendance. After the discussion, the mayors and representatives toured TMA’s state-of-the-art manufacturing training facilities.
“As a mayor and a small business owner, I understand the challenges TMA members face daily as they try to conduct business and help their employees grow in this difficult climate,” said Cary Mayor Mark Kownick, who also serves on the Executive Board of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. “Municipal government and manufacturers have similar interests – to grow jobs and create great places to live and work in their communities. I look forward to continue building relationships with TMA members as we pursue this mission on behalf of our residents.”
The Next Generation of Manufacturers Grows as 38 Students Complete TMA’s Related Theory Apprentice Program
Apprentices Graduated with Nationally Recognized Manufacturing Certificates in Mold Making, CNC Programming, and Tool & Die Making
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Manufacturers from all around the United States are concerned about the future of the industry as a retiring “Silver Tsunami” looms on the horizon – threatening a whole generation of the US manufacturers. For several years, the Technology & Manufacturing Association has been working with members, local high schools and community colleges to thwart the impending workforce disaster by offering training and education that equips their graduates with what many call “the gold standard” for manufacturing job training programs – and all completely debt-free.
Thursday evening, TMA hosted their annual Related Theory Graduation and presented diplomas of completion in Tool & Die, Mold Making and CNC Machining to 38 students that have completed three long years of training and education in those particular fields.
This year’s Graduation can be viewed HERE and HERE.
“The COVID pandemic highlighted the critical importance of manufacturers and having a ‘made-in-America’ supply chain. The programs that educated these students over the last three years are the gold standard of manufacturing training. This nationally-recognized certificate, which requires over 500 hours of instruction and 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, will allow these students to enter into a lucrative and rewarding career in manufacturing,” said TMA President Steve Rauschenberger.
Traditionally, TMA holds a public ceremony providing family, friends, and leaders in the manufacturing community the opportunity to honor both the graduating students and the employers that funded the students’ training and education.
Commenting on the pandemic-related adversity the program’s staff and students overcame, Patrick Osborne, TMA’s Executive Vice President said, “I don’t think anyone could have foreseen a health emergency of this magnitude. I am especially proud of the fact that our TMA team, like our members, are among the most innovative people in the world, and we were able to continue these very important education programs during this unprecedented time.”
TMA’s Related Theory Graduation is for students who have completed the three-year Apprentice Training Program. During their first year, they learn basic skills such as shop math, blueprint reading, and the basics of machine tool technology. In their second year, students begin their discipline in mold making, CNC programming, or tool & die. In the third year, students continue their education with more advanced training.
The TMA Related Theory Apprenticeship Training Program has been assisting member companies in training their apprentices for over 70 years. Click here for more information on TMA's training programs.
About TMA: Founded in 1925, the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) represents and supports manufacturers in the Chicago metropolitan area and surrounding counties in northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Wisconsin. TMA has almost 1,000 members and represents over 32,000 employees and nearly 26M square feet of manufacturing in Illinois.
50 Northern Illinois High School Students Awarded at TMA’s Precision Machining Competition in Schaumburg
29th Annual Event Encouraged Students to Pursue High-Tech Manufacturing Jobs
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Over 50 students from nine northern Illinois high schools competed again this year in the Technology & Manufacturing Association’s (TMA) 29th annual Precision Machining Competition. The annual contest encourages students to pursue high-skill, high-paying, high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing.
Awards were presented May 13th on TMA social media HERE and HERE.
Even with the COVID-19 restrictions that this year’s participating schools had to fight through, many students remained focused on competing to help advance their careers in the manufacturing and technology fields to further equip them with the skills to produce goods for people around the country and world.
Emblematic of the manufacturing sector’s perseverance during the pandemic, these hard-working students created more than 65 projects showcasing their skills in CAD design, sine bar, grinding vice, CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC CAM, CNC programming, and other abilities and techniques essential to modern machining.
Participants in these manufacturing activities for high school students included Cary-Grove, Hampshire, Jefferson (Rockford), Lake Park, McHenry East, McHenry West, first-time competitor Ridgewood, Streamwood, and Wheeling. Students heard remarks from Leigh Coglianese, TMA Manager of Training & Education, April Senase, West CTE Manufacturing Teacher, and Tom Cicardo, Tooling Apprentice, Matrix Tool. The students also had the opportunity to connect with local manufacturers and learn more about possible careers.
“This year’s Precision Machining Competition is a testament to the indomitable spirit of these young people,” said TMA President Steve Rauschenberger. “In a year marked by uncertainty and adversity, these students persevered, overcoming numerous obstacles to create the impressive projects we saw here today. It’s rewarding for our association to know these students will have the opportunity to obtain high-paying and high in-demand jobs in manufacturing.”
The Precision Machining Competition is not only one of TMA’s most effective initiatives for career recruitment into precision metalworking, but one of its most important as well: experts estimate the next decade will see the creation of about 3.5 million new manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, a precision metalworking “skills gap” means that well over half of those jobs—as many as two million—could go unfilled.
Initiatives like the Precision Machining Competition highlight the demand for technology and precision manufacturing skills in today’s workforce. The Competition also celebrates the inventive students who will be the ones to help us close that skills gap in the years to come.
“These students are the workforce of the future,” noted Coglianese. “They’ll have the opportunity to fill one of the thousands of open jobs nationwide in high-tech, high-wage manufacturing roles, setting themselves up for lifelong career success in an exciting, dynamic field.”
TMA is mentioned in below Illinois Review.com story:
SPRINGFIELD - Private and public sector unions will rule the state of Illinois with a constitutional amendment that passed the Illinois Senate Friday afternoon. Eleven (11) Republican senators and all voting Democrats supported the measure that would ban any "right to work" effort in Illinois.
Three Republican senators were in such strong support of banning right to work in Illinois, they co-sponsored the measure: Senator Neil Anderson of Moline; Donald DeWitte of Dundee: and John Curran of Lemont.
Here's what a Wirepoints commentary says about Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 11 :
... The amendment, if passed by three-fifths votes in each chamber and approved by voters, would prohibit municipalities and the state from ever taking any measure that would impair the ability of workers to collectively bargain over wages, hours, terms and conditions.
In other words, it would constitutionally ban any attempt to reform collective bargaining rules for both public and private unions. The resolutions, including links to the text, are here and here. The amendment would also effectively ban any right-to-work movement.
SJRCA 11, analysts say, adds to the Bill of Rights Article of the Illinois Constitution that employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.
It prohibits any law state or local that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment.
That means, observers say, requiring union membership and the fees, expenses, etc., unions require cannot be stifled in anyway - such as any effort that would give workers the right to choose whether they want to be union members.
Groups that signed on in opposition to the measure include the Technology & Manufacturing Association, the Illinois Municipal League and 120 other business groups. Their cautions were ignored and there was no opposition voiced during the Senate floor debate.
Below is the roll call for Friday's vote. The 11 Republican senators joined the Democrat super-majority in voting yes are Anderson; Bryant; Curran; DeWitte; Fowler; McClure; Rezin; Rose; Stoller; Syverson and Wilcox.
The measure will now go to the Illinois House. If it passes there, the question of whether or not to amend the Illinois Constitution in such a way will be on the 2022 Illinois General Election ballot.