Manufacturers’ Association expands pre-apprenticeship program, adds coordinator 

The Manufacturers’ Association will expand its manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program with the hiring of a pre-apprenticeship coordinator. 

Miranda Martz, a recent graduate for the York-based association’s state certified apprenticeship machinist program, took the lead in growing the program in southcentral Pennsylvania earlier this month. 

The Manufacturers’ Association’s pre-apprenticeship initiative is a two-year program for mostly high school juniors and seniors. It started in 2018 and has grown from a focus on York County schools to include Lancaster and Perry counties. 

Students taking the program learn and practice the skills needed to enter full time registered apprenticeship programs sponsored by local manufacturing companies. 

The program received a $189,147 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to expand the program to meet a growing need for workers among Pennsylvania’s 2,500 manufacturing companies. Martz’s hiring coincides with those new dollars, said Tom Palisin, executive director of the Manufacturers’ Association. 

“It gave us the push to really grow the program. We could have stuck with maybe Perry and York counties but with these resources we could expand into more counties,” said Palisin. “Someone needed to be the point person on that. This was way too important for the future workforce to not have someone on this.” 

Martz is the first female machinist journeyman graduate from the association’s apprenticeship machinist program. She joins her new role after six years as a lead of the CNC milling machining department of a local manufacturing firm. 

The new grant funding, couple with Martz’s hiring, will allow the program to have 60 students by the end of the year—compared to 15 in 2018. 

York distributor partners with Turkish manufacturer to custom build PPE

To address holes the pandemic poked in the medical equipment supply chain, York medical equipment distribution company Legacy Medical Sales, LLC,  partnered with a Turkish manufacturer to make its own products.

Since its founding in 2019, Legacy has served as a distribution channel for companies such as Irving, Texas-based pharmaceutical and health care equipment distributor McKesson– either shipping products directly to clients or from its York warehouse.

Distributors today are just as busy getting personal protective equipment to businesses and health care providers as they were at the beginning of the pandemic. The difference is that the need for some personal protective equipment has decreased while the need for products like lab coats have increased, said Peter Collipp, co-founder of Legacy.

“We are supplying lab coats to Cook Hospital in Chicago,” Collipp said. “We would face the same challenges if we tried to buy them from the big companies, and if we went to the secondary market we would be paying high premiums. From the manufacturing side, we could create products to their specifications.”

To fill the need that Legacy found by focusing on distribution alone, the company went to a Turkish manufacturer that is fulfilling Legacy’s orders and shipping them to the states.

In the past, Legacy sourced a majority of its product from China, but when looking for a partner that would allow it to manufacture products on a smaller scale, the company settled on a company in Istanbul.

“The pandemic really exposed some major problems in the medical equipment supply chain,” said Jason Vogelsong, co-founder of Legacy. “We have full control of the process, and that’s important. When you are relying on others for anything, there is a degree of uncertainty. By selecting manufacturers and developing those relationships ourselves, we can see the whole process, including any risks that may arise.”

Legacy currently has no plans to bring its manufacturing to the states but may look to do so in the future, said Collipp.