ITAMCO is widely known as a premier advanced manufacturing and technology firm serving a range of industries from oil, gas, and heavy construction to military and defense organizations, offering capabilities in robotics, additive manufacturing, blockchain, and other areas. With facilities in Plymouth and Argos, the company’s core business is centered on the precision manufacturing of gears of all sizes, up to more than 12 feet in diameter.
The Engineering Services branch of ITAMCO works collaboratively with universities and other groups on projects that advance manufacturing across the board, and over the years, the company has created multiple startups including Atlas 3D and SIMBA Chain.
Involved with Navy and other military contracts, when the pandemic hit, ITAMCO was considered an essential business so maintained full employment and did not close at any point through the year. In their plant of more than 450,000 square feet, keeping physical distance between workers was not difficult. Careful attention and strong communication helped them keep people healthy, with minimal cases of covid among their 100 employees.
Business slowed somewhat during 2020 but not dramatically, just enough to permit the company to invest in education for their employees, pouring time and resources into the people who keep the company running. Many projects were accomplished in 2020, for instance, working with the military to develop a portable runway mat. ITAMCO also won a gold medal in the US Air Force’s first Advanced Manufacturing Olympics, beating both Boeing and Stratasys.
While the company is proud of these achievements, Matt Davis, Manager of Training and Organizational Development, notes that what was most significant about the pandemic year is the resilience of the employees among the uncertainty, while successfully upskilling themselves with vendor training opportunities during 2020.
Over the course of the year, ITAMCO used a variety of sources to provide education and skills training to their people. Some people were sent to training courses, vendors brought in specialized training on their equipment and processes, and employees were trained in S5 and AutoCAD. ITAMCO made use of Indiana’s Next Level Job Grants and worked with ten to twelve different providers, investing around $100,000 in providing education and skills training. Over 40 employees were impacted by this opportunity taking sometimes multiple different courses over the year to expand their skillsets!
Choosing to push training is a decision characteristic of ITAMCO’s learning-centered culture, one that highlights employees, giving them additional skills training along with opportunities for growth and promotion. ITAMCO focuses on caring about people and the community, and that includes efforts to strengthen manufacturing education in the schools and the region.
Cultivating awareness of the opportunities in advanced manufacturing is a mission for Matt Davis and ITAMCO. He notes that at ITAMCO alone, more than 30 different types of jobs are represented and there is far more to working here than “just” being a machinist. Advanced manufacturing is high tech, conducted in a facility that is equally modern, clean and bright, a sharp contrast to old stereotypes.
ITAMCO’S commitment to education and manufacturing extends beyond the walls of their facilities:
- Working with Marshall County’s Lifelong Learning Network and Marshall County Crossroads team, which has submitted a READI Grant, ITAMCO is helping to create a career innovation center that will bring the higher education opportunities of Ivy Tech and Purdue to Marshall County. The expectation is to increase participation in training because of the greater convenience and reduced travel time.
- ITAMCO participated in Manufacturing Day and programs that brought attention to the local job opportunities in manufacturing, with special emphasis on educating and attracting high school students.
- For the past two or three years, ITMACO has worked with the Community Corrections Center in Marshall County As part of this program, they have mentored and hired eight previously incarcerated individuals. Although not every individual stayed with the program, they have found the experience to be phenomenal. In fact, two of their top CNC operators came through this mentorship program; one of these individuals, coming in with no previous CNC experience, gained this level of excellence solely through his hard work at ITAMCO.
Davis stresses that ITAMCO’s employees are phenomenal—they are great problem solvers and are the heart and soul of the company.
ITAMCO seeks to hire great people and then works to find or create the right fit for them within the organization. This is a culture that emphasizes the importance of the employees, one where people want to stay, even when wooed by enticing offers from other employers.
ITAMCO’s team is characteristic of the region. People are interested in innovation, eager to learn new things and apply them. The quality of life in the area is great, with smaller towns and cities and many opportunities for high-tech jobs right here without leaving the state or the region.
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