PMPA Speaking of Precision Podcast:

What is on Miles’ Agenda?

Miles Free and Carli Kistler-Miller explore what need-to-know information and projects Miles is working on for PMPA members. Get the inside scoop!

Published January 30, 2023


PMPA Speaking of Precision Podcast:

Interview with Virginia Martinez and Laiken Carrillo of Technical Employment Training

Carli Kistler-Miller sits down with Virginia Martinez and Laiken Carrillo of Technical Employment Training (TET) as they share their journey and how they help prepare the next generation for a career in manufacturing.

Published January 16, 2023


Manufacturing Skills Training: Virginia Martinez and Laiken Carrillo

A precision machining career starts with skills. Virginia and Laiken share their journey and how they help prepare the next generation.

by Carli Kistler-Miller

Director of Programs & Marketing, PMPA

Published January 1, 2023

Virginia Martinez serves as the president of operations for Technical Employment Training (TET) in San Bernardino, California. Laiken Carrillo serves as the administrative coordinator for TET. TET is a school which provides entry-level manufacturing skills, including blueprint reading and layout, safety, math, CAD-CAM training, conventional machining and
CNC operations. TET provides stackable credentials and has an 87% job placement rate.

Their Journey
Virginia Martinez is a product of a local machining program and entered the workforce 23 years ago as an intern at a local machine shop. She experienced different department operations and says she “garnered a deep sense of what the manufacturing industries needed for effective productivity as well as internal skill sets that are needed for continued
growth.” She was also involved with SkillsUSA — from being a student to serving as local and state officers, trainer and an alumni board member. Her experience, coupled with her SkillsUSA involvement, led to the president of operations position with TET in 2010. Laiken Carrillo has 13 years of experience with customer service. Four years ago, she started with TET as an administrative assistant, quickly moved to a job developer position and now serves as the administrative coordinator. Laiken states, “My success in fostering relationships with employers as well as the students helped me realize that this is where I needed to be. Over the years, I have learned to grow and develop a deep passion for career and technical education.”

Advice for Shops Looking for Skilled Talent
Virginia and Laiken advise shops to get involved and engage with local programs. Virginia states, “Be a part of their advisory, let them know the industry trends, technology and skills sets that are needed. This engagement will help the local programs align their curriculum to meet the needs of employers.” She adds that being involved in mock interview feedback, career day, facility tours and speeches make a big impact on students and the success of the program.

Advice to Women (or Anyone) Seeking a Career in Manufacturing
Virginia encourages those seeking a career in manufacturing to “Go for it!” She adds, “Manufacturing has reinvented itself with the use of technology and is on the cutting edge of the latest technology. This technology has departed into many industries, whether your passion is medical, aerospace, military or automotive, with manufacturing the industries go on and each area needs skilled, talented women. Not only do we recommend this career to women but we encourage it. We can self-attest to the career opportunities that it has opened for us both individually just by being actively involved
in the manufacturing industry.”



Carli Kistler-Miller, MBA has over 25 years of experience with
communications, event/meeting planning, marketing, writing and
operations. Email: gro.apmp@rellimc — Website:

Training is More than a Skills Upgrade 

Training is more than a skills upgrade. Training is a process that creates a virtuous cycle for your performers, culture and shop. Why do we train? Why do we need to train?

by Miles Free III

Director of Industry Affairs, PMPA

Published January 1, 2023

Why do we train? Because we continue to need talented professionals to produce the components critical to today’s human safety and quality of life technologies: automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics. Why do we need to train? There were 806,000 manufacturing job openings in September 2022, at the same time, 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age every day. By 2030 all baby boomers will have reached or passed the age of 65. In shops where standard work instructions are not available for each and every task, the “institutional knowledge” actually belongs to those professionals who have it, not to the institution. The tribal knowledge is in possession of the members of the tribe, not the tribe itself. As the makeup of our tribe of performers changes as personnel changes, so too can we lose or gain tribal and institutional knowledge.

Training and the New Performer
A new performer brings talent and abilities, but unless experienced, needs to learn many specifics about the work for which they will be responsible. As human beings, they will also bring a feeling of vulnerability, if not fear, about consequences should they do something wrong. But if they are new, how will they know what is something that is wrong? Right and wrong can be obvious, but again, may not be to someone with little context or experience for their new job.
By providing training, an employer is trying to improve the direct skills, activities, and thinking of the new performer. A trained employee is less likely to make an error, do the wrong thing or produce non-conforming products. This should be sufficient to justify our investment in training. And yet, in my mind, this is the least or lowest payoff
for training. Changing our frame of reference to the new performer, we can see that the value of the training to them
is far, far greater than the value that the employer thinks that they are getting.

Benefits of Providing Training
The obvious and most direct benefit of providing training is the provision of needed skills — skills needed at the organization and by the performer. Providing sought after skills is an investment both in the new performer, as well
as in the enterprise. Win-Win. Clearly, there is a benefit recognized by the performer as they master these skills and become an increasingly important party of the new work “tribe.” All humans want to be valued, connect and belong. Investing in training for individuals is actually an investment in the strength of the tribe.

Improved morale. By raising competency and removing guess work, our performers have less to fear as a consequence of making a bad decision. Knowing the What, How and Why of each task helps performers gain confidence, reducing fear, and thus makes it possible for them to have a positive attitude about their performance. This positive attitude fosters a sense of confidence, and a confident performer is more productive — less hesitation before doing a needed task- and more comfortable on the job.

Improves joy of work and job satisfaction. Contrary to the management attitudes of the last century, our skilled and talented performers are not economic automata trading time and effort for cash. Today’s workforce seeks meaning and
value out of everything that they do. A confident performer can see and enjoy the satisfaction of both tangible positive
results for their efforts at the end of the day and of knowing that the work that they did was essential and made a difference. Improved morale, satisfaction and joy of work leads collectively to a positive, engaging, and sustainable work
culture. Which leads to unexpected employer benefits… Improves recruiting. Finding and hiring workforce is a difficult challenge these days, but shops with a reputation for providing sought-after skills training are finding it easier to keep their talent pipeline flowing. It is one thing for a potential employee to wonder if a shop is a good place to work. It is another for them to learn that there is a plan in place to build up their skills and that there is a clear career path as they master the trainings provided. There is no doubt that great housekeeping and wages are keys to people deciding where to work. But the real decision-maker — as I have heard from recent additions to our workforce and from their families — is the acknowledgment of the value of the training investment to give them a sought-after skill and an assured career path.

Improves retention. Many employers will argue that if they train performers, the performers will leave. I will argue simply that no one leaves “just because they are trained.” They will leave because of other quality of work life reasons, not because they are now trained. If people are fleeing for the exits in a shop, it isn’t because of the training they received. Trained people are more satisfied, less fearful, and more confident on the job. They aren’t looking to leave when they are comfortable and satisfied where they are. The real issue, I would argue, is “What if you fail to train them and they stay?”

A final reason for training — and training to standard work methods that are used in your shop. There are many ways to accomplish any particular precision machining goal. And collectively, these many methods can all result in different levels of conformance with variation in the results achieved. By training, and using standard work procedures, a shop and its performers can reduce variation, variability, unexpected results and reduce waste. This is how we improve quality. While it is not unexpected that improving training will improve quality, it is seldom thought of as we deal with the tyranny of the urgent in our daily operations.
Training is more than just a management chore, a necessary evil. Training our performers is actually the first step of a virtuous cycle where competence, confidence, morale, performance, quality and a company’s reputation all grow and improve.
Why should we train? Because the returns are truly immeasurable across our individual performers, our tribe, our community and our economy. As well as a powerful force for improved results for our company.





Miles Free III is the PMPA Director of Industry Affairs with over 50 years of experience in the areas of manufacturing, quality and steelmaking. Miles’ podcast is at Email Miles


Manufacturing is critical and essential for our quality of life.

by Joe Jackson

Marketing & Events Assistant, PMPA

Published January 1, 2023

Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturing is a subsector of manufacturing that makes critical goods from metal components.

Precision Turned Products Manufacturing is a subsector of fabricated metal product manufacturing that makes the components that MAKE IT WORK!


Annual Economic Output

U.S. Manufacturing
NAICS 31-33

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

Precision Turned Product Manufacturing
NACIS 332721


  • 12% of the U.S. total output (GDP)
  • 718,796 manufacturing establishments in the U.S 
  • Jobs: 8.58% of the workforce in the U.S. (12.1 million employees)
  • U.S. manufactured goods exports were valued at $1.867 trillion. (this is 18% of the global capacity.)
  • Multiplier effect: $1 spent in manufacturing = $2.68 spent in the broad economy.
  • Largest manufactured goods sectors that the precision machining industry supplies in the U.S. include food and beverage, computer, electronic and optical products, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, fabricated metal products, electrical equipment and other transport equipment.


In future issues of Production Machining magazine PMPA will analyze the contributions and impacts of manufacturing, fabricated metal products and precision turned products in each state.


Source:,,,, US Census


Download Magazine Article





Joe Jackson

Marketing & Events Assistant, PMPA

Email: gro.apmp@noskcajj — Website:

Welcome to John Habe IV, PMPA’s New
Board President

At the PMPA Annual Meeting held at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
in Tucson, Arizona in October 2022, John Habe IV was welcomed as
the Board of Directors President.

by Cate Kurela Smith

Executive Director, PMPA

Published January 1, 2023

John Habe IV was welcomed as PMPA’s 2022-2023 President at the annual meeting held in Tucson, Arizona, in October. John has served as a Northern Ohio Chapter Officer and on the PMPA Strategic Planning Committee, Finance Committee and Board of Directors prior to his nomination to the Executive Committee. He is president of Metal Seal Precision, Ltd., a company with membership roots dating to 1956.

The Metal Seal family of precision machining companies, headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, consists of five companies and five plant locations. Metal Seal Precision was formed in November 2011 with the merger of Arrow Manufacturing and Metal Seal & Products. Arrow Manufacturing was founded by John’s grandfather, John L. Habe, II. John, the third generation, started working in the shop when he was 13 years old and has a degree in Business Management from John Carroll University.

John is one-third owner of Metal Seal, along with his two brothers. Metal Seal Precision sets itself apart from many other companies because there are not many precision machining companies which can take on the high volume machining projects in both turning and milling. He worked hard to put together a corporate structure to build a successful business while also remaining successful as a family unit, each being paid appropriately for his position in the company plus an equal split of net profits.

John’s Goal for His PMPA Tenure
Over the years he has acquired additional companies in machining and other industries. This process has provided John the foundation for his platform during his year as president of PMPA, which is for member companies to better understand their financial statements and profitability.

Specifically, one area John wants to address is for company owners to better understand EBITDA so that they may have a better handle on real earnings and be able to find inefficiencies in the office, not just in machining operations. “Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, EBITDA, is a profitability analysis that
removes factors that might distort a company’s earnings,” he explains. “EBITDA is a popular way to measure a company’s financial health as well as the ability to generate cash when needed but is not generally included in regular company income statements.” EBITDA is also valuable for succession planning, which has been a highly requested and regarded topic at the PMPA Management Update Conference and the PMPA Annual Meeting. John states, “How much money does the company make per year? With so many companies considering their succession plan, it’s important to know the true value of your company.” John looks forward to leading
discussions to elevate the members’ business decisions and related acumen.

John and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 23 years. Lisa is the president of Interlake Industries, a metal stamping company, as well as other enterprises. John and Lisa have two sons in college and a daughter happily married with two sons of her own.


Download Magazine Article




Cate Kurela Smith 

Email: gro.apmp@htimsc — Website: