The mission of the Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board is to work together as an industry to create an awareness of the careers within the industry and increase the pipeline of potential future workforce.

The Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board meets on the 3rd Monday of every month. If you would like information on the Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board contact Barb Rawson by email at: Barbara.Rawson@Kirkwood.edu or call 319-398-2754. Learn more about the Sector Board Partner Companies that are currently committed to helping advance the future of manufacturing.

Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board 2019-20 Initiatives

  1. The promotion of the portal explore-manufacturing.org to increase awareness about the manufacturing industry and increase the local pipeline of workers.
  2. To plan educational events with middle school/high school students to increase awareness of the manufacturing industry.
  3. To create awareness about the manufacturing Industry and the great careers available
  4. To provide educational opportunities for business in the manufacturing industry through tours, round-table discussion and speakers.

Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board Leadership Team

  • Tom Cavanagh
    Tom Cavanagh Chair
  • Erik Lewis
    Erik Lewis Vice Chair
  • Jodi Wacha
    Jodi Wacha Treasurer

Recent Accomplishments

Advancing the Future Tours

  • Hosted in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Over 950 experiences with 37 tours at 15 companies in 2015
  • Over 950 experiences with 50 tours with 23 schools at 15 companies in 2016
  • Over 1,140 experiences with 65 tours with 23 schools at 19 companies in 2017
  • Over 1,675 experiences with  60 tours with 25 schools at 19 companies, plus 184 members of the public attended a tour in 2018
  • Over 1,054 experiences with 569 students and 21 companies in 2019

Industry Training Needs Identified by the Sector Board

Accelerated CNC Program: The Sector Board created this program in 2015. It has run 4 times to date. This accelerated program allows individuals to earn college credit and national industry certifications in 16 weeks, preparing them for immediate employment in high-quality manufacturing jobs and giving them a solid foundation to advance in higher education and careers.

  • 2018: 11 successfully completed the program. For more information on future classes go here.

Accelerated Welding 2016 Program: During the short term training program, the individual will experience a hands-on learning opportunity in Gas Metal Arc Welding. Safety, general welding knowledge and Quality are stressed. Students will progress through the basic welding in the flat and horizontal welding, as well as use of axial spray transfer. They will also be enrolled in a Fabrication Math & Blueprint Reading class where they will learn essential math and blueprint reading skills to become a successful fabricator and/or welder in today’s high tech manufacturing world.

Classes include:

  • Fabrication Math and Blueprint Reading and Gas Metal Arc Welding Short Circuit Transfer.
  • 24 enrolled, 20 completed

Leadership in Manufacturing: The Leadership in Manufacturing Certificate allows an individual to join a cohort of other individuals within the manufacturing industry to learn from, share ideas and form relationships while building leadership skills. Classes are held every other week and on the non-session weeks, individuals will have the chance to use their new skills and knowledge for real life job applications.  Individuals will have the opportunity to complete both level one and two.

  • Tier 1 2016: 26 successful graduates, Tier 2 2016: 24 successful graduates
  • Tier 1 2017: 30 successful graduates, Tier 2 2017: 28 successful graduates
  • Tier 1 2018: 28 successful graduates, Tier 2 2018: 20 successful graduates
  • Tier 1 2019: 28 successful graduates, Tier 2 2019: 15 successful graduates
  • Tier 1 2020: 62 successful graduates, Tier 2 2020: 29 successful graduates
  • Tier 1 2021: 31 enrolled


To learn more about Industrial Technology certificate programs go to http://www.kirkwood.edu/ce_certificates

All Stars

“All Star” employees are honored for demonstrating leadership skills, work accomplishments and commitment to their careers. Honorees represent 18-35 year-olds in diverse career fields across a variety of industries, including Advanced Manufacturing. The All Stars are featured in a magazine which is distributed to area schools.

Digital Magazine Issues


All Star Recipients

  • 2017 Advanced Manufacturing honorees: Cassie Ellis, Frontier Co-op, Amber Westemeier, Raining Rose
  • 2018 Advanced Manufacturing honorees: Chris Biechler, Clickstop and Laura Tietz, Barnes Manufacturing
  • 2019 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Sandra Hawes, Clickstop, Inc.
  • 2019 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Katie Wagner, World Class Industries
  • 2020 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Ashley Scherrman, Raining Rose
  • 2020 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Jake Feldmann, Clickstop
  • 2021 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Rachel Cron, Raining Rose
  • 2021 Advanced Manufacturing honoree: Alana Hromidko, Clickstop


  • Created video: https://youtu.be/-qMB0Day9sY
  • School Counselors in CR area and Washington attended sector board meeting (September 2016)
  • Hosted Women in Manufacturing Event – October 2016
  • Hosted Girls in Manufacturing Event (with Metro HS) – May 2017
  • Hosted Women in Manufacturing Event – October 2017
  • Creating a web portal to promote the industry, careers and awareness 2018
  • Middle School Outreach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MSrleHONVw
  • Pilot program with Vernon Middle school,  Kirkwood CAD class and New Leader Manufacturing  to design, create and manufacture a medallion made of steel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MSrleHONVw&t=6s – 2019

Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board Website/Social Media Presence

Kirkwood Academy Industrial Technology instructors incorporate portal into class curriculum 2019

  • Business sponsorship of the website totals 21 in 2019
  • Created a ICR Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Facebook page – 2019
  • Gave 7 presentations to local educators to promote the portal & curriculum 2018-2019
  • Partnered with ICR Iowa to have the website featured on ICR Future webpage
  • Creation of this website to promote the manufacturing industry, careers and awareness September 1, 2018
  • Business sponsorship of the website totals 19 in 2018
  • Developed curriculum for the portal/website to aid in exploration of careers and companies 2018
  • Distributed the portal promotional post card at the All Stars Event 2018
  • Distributed the portal postcard to 600 middle and high school students


  • Participated in WorldBlu Workforce DC Legislative visit
    • November 2015 and 2017

Other Sector Boards

Advanced Manufacturing Premier Partners

Advanced Manufacturing Partners

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