AMFA Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

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The Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association (AMFA) will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2017. Since inception in 1997, AMFA has been dedicated to helping manufacturing and fabrication industries develop and thrive in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

AMFA founder, Gene Betts, started the organization with support from his then-employer, and APEX investor-member, UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) who provided the initial funding, enabling Betts to work on the formation of AMFA. Today, the organization has more than 100 members, including APEX.

While Betts stepped away from his position as AMFA president in 2003, the organization continues his vision for strong ties to education through AMFA’s Educational Trust (AMFA-ET).

When asked about AMFA’s greatest achievement after 20 years, current AMFA President, Jeremy Lehman of Tritec Steel replied, “In my opinion, one of the greatest achievements of AMFA and the Educational Trust is giving out grants to schools and tech programs. With school budgets the way they are, the money we are able to give out in many cases makes the difference between having a program and not having one.”

AMFA-ET was founded in 1999 and raises money for K-12 STEM programming, including tooling for classrooms, curriculum development, and robotics programs.

“Probably the biggest issue facing manufacturers is not being able to find skilled workers. All the work AMFA has done to help improve the image of manufacturing and support the high school and college manufacturing programs really does help get kids interested and keeps the programs going,” said Lehman. “And it’s all made possible by the generosity of our members, both in time and money.”

Since 2005, AMFA-ET has distributed over $150,000 in grants to local schools – all raised through fundraising events, such as the upcoming AMFA Beer Tasting Event.

APEX has supported and helped add capacity to the AMFA and AMFA-ET Boards of Directors for more than ten years. Ian Vincent, APEX Senior Business Developer is the current AMFA Vice President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Beer Tasting Fundraiser Committee.

The annual beer and wine tasting fundraiser for AMFA-ET is around the corner. Mark your calendar:
AMFA-ET Annual Beer (and wine) Tasting Fundraiser

Date:Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Location:Clyde Iron Works – Duluth, MN

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