ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS – The Rock River Valley Tooling and Machining Association (RRVTMA) awarded three $1,000 scholarships at their 2013 Apprentice Appreciation dinner on June 5, 2013.
This is the first year that the RRVTMA has awarded scholarships to high school seniors in the Rock River Valley region who have interest in pursuing careers in a manufacturing field. This is the first year the Association has offered scholarships and committed up to five $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors graduating in Spring 2013. This offering supports a focus of our association’s mission, namely, “promoting and emphasizing education”. It is our hope that awarding scholarships to high school seniors pursuing a manufacturing related degree program will encourage more young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.
Jacob Burke
Jacob lives in Janesville and just graduated from Janesville Craig high school. In high school, he had opportunity to take a welding class. He found he really enjoyed welding and has decided he wants to pursue a career as a welder. He has maintained a high grade point average in high school along with working 25 hours a week. Jacob plans to attend Blackhawk Technical College in their welding program with his goal of becoming a certified welder.
Seth Lightfoot
Seth is from Rockford and recently graduated from Winnebago high school. He has participated on the robotics team Winnovation since he was 14. In addition, Seth has taken Project Lead the Way engineering classes. These experiences, along with support from his father who is an engineering manager, has peaked his interest in pursuing a career in manufacturing. Seth plans to attend Iowa State University to study software engineering. He is looking to pursue a career in automation, controls, robotics or software.
Morgan Waterson
Morgan lives in Rockford and just graduated from Auburn high school. She has been inspired by inventions created to help people with disabilities overcome their challenges. Morgan volunteers at Walter Lawson’s Childrens Home. Her volunteer work has helped her understand where improvements can be made in the technologies meant to help those with disabilities. She has participated on the Rockford Robotics team and has a love of art. Morgan plans to attend the University of Illinois in Chicago pursuing a major in engineering and a minor in art.

The Rock River Valley Tooling and Machining Association (RRVTMA) awarded Journeyman certificates to nine apprentices at their 2013 Apprentice Appreciation dinner on June 5, 2013.
Each year for the past 53 years, the RRVTMA has awarded Journeyman certificates to apprentices that have completed their apprenticeship with a company in the Rock River Valley region. The Association offers apprenticeships in four occupational areas: Tool and Die Maker, Precision Machinist, Gear Cutting Machinist, and CNC Machine Operator. To achieve Journeyman status, an individual must attain 8,000 to 10,000 on the job training along with 608 hours of related technical training over four years at Rock Valley College.
Those receiving Journeyman status as a Tool and Die Maker were:
Quentin Britton Covidien Marengo
Jacob Christeson McCurdy Tool & Die Caledonia
Josh Hazelton Rockford Toolcraft Rockford
David Mandujano Rockford Toolcraft Rockford
Those receiving Journeyman status as a Precision Machinist were:
Eric Chrzanowski Industrial Molds Rockford
Jeff Erickson Erickson Tool and Machine Rockford
Kirk Gorsuch Micro Punch Tool & Die Rockford
Edgar Lozano Advanced Machine and Engineering Rockford
Cody Nieders Main Source Machining Rockford