AGMA and Chicago college partner to help build the industry’s future


In April, the American Gear Manufacturers Association and Richard J. Daley College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago, entered an agreement to establish The AGMA National Training Center. This is an incredible venture for the gear-manufacturing industry. It is critical, now more than ever, that industry and education partner to create environments and/or curricula that teach industry standards’ education and training content.

The Richard J. Daley College campus has just built a 52,000-square-foot building known as the Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC). This facility prepares students for the anticipated jobs coming to the region during the next decade. What better partner could AGMA have to build up the gear-manufacturing workforce? This phenomenal institution is on the forefront of job training so students can learn the skills they need to launch careers in a growing field. AGMA has been in partnership with the Daley Campus since 1993. The “Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing” course has been held there twice a year, training more than 1,000 learners over the years. It was time to take the partnership to the next level.

With more than 20 years of experience in continuing education and workforce development, I can share first-hand how rewarding it was to work with a community college and to witness the students’ passion for learning a new job skill or professional development. This is also where I learned how imperative it is for industry to inform education on current and future trends and best practices. Workforce development starts with education, and it often starts with continuing education and the needs of the community.  Community colleges offer the ability to develop relationships within the surrounding communities and industries to prepare and assist people in having life-changing and career-enhancing experiences.

The Richard J. Daley College campus has just built a 52,000-square-foot building known as the Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC).

The Richard J. Daley College campus practices these same principles — continuing education (both personal and professional), adult education, and dual enrollment programs — through their Reinvention Initiative. The primary purpose was to build programming and partnerships in a way that ensured students were prepared to further their education and have the skills for jobs in the 21st century. The college has done a remarkable job in homing in on what’s important: connecting with industry to inform their program offerings and make them relevant and attractive to the workforce of the future. Partnerships with FANUC, Snap-on, Amada America, Inc., and Haas Automation — just to name a few — have added significant value to learning experiences for their students.

The collaboration between AGMA and Daley College is a game-changing move for our association. We have aligned ourselves with an institution that values partnership, industry standards, and investing in the workforce of the future. At AGMA and within our education department, our strategy has been to develop courses that encompass the application and design process at the engineering level.  And now, we are creating operator-level courses that educate and train machinists and operators along with providing supply-chain management courses to help develop the business services of our industry.

To my knowledge, an association partnering with an institution of higher learning to establish such a collaboration is not common. This is the kind of innovation, creative, and re-invention necessary to keep our industry in the forefront.

So, what does this mean for us? The AGMA National Training Center provides us with a platform to provide our membership with a location that is centrally located to house our operator-level courses, most engineering courses, a meeting space for committees, an opportunity for expanded partnership through joint curriculum development efforts, equipment acquisition, and an opportunity to attract the next generation of the gear-industry workforce.

Have questions? Contact Casandra Blassingame at


AGMA Welcomes New Board Members

The American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) announced the election of John Cross, president of ASI Drives as the new AGMA Chairman of the Board, at the AGMA Annual Meeting April 11-13 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Other changes to the board include a new treasurer and Business Management Executive Committee (BMEC) chairman.   

The new AGMA Executive Committee is:

  • John Cross, chairman; and president of ASI Drives
  • Todd Praneis, TDEC chairman; and director of Product Development, Cotta Transmission
  • Greg Schulte, treasurer; and president of Bonfiglioli USA
  • Mike McKernin, BMEC chairman
  • Jim Bregi, president; chairman emeritus, Doppler Gear Company

Additionally, AGMA welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors. These directors will serve a three-year term (2019-2021). The new board members were elected by AGMA corporate members in the first quarter of 2019 and announced during the AGMA Annual Meeting. 

The newly elected board members are:

  • Zen Cichon, president, Innovative Rack & Gear Company
  • Ruth Johnston, CEO and president, Croix Gear & Machining
  • Jack Masseth, site manager — Howell, Meritor, Inc.
  • Sara Zimmerman, vice president of Business Development, Sumitomo Drive Technologies

Fall Technical Meeting is Open for Registration

Take a deep dive into the gear industry at the Fall Technical Meeting. This meeting brings together top researchers from across the globe who will provide the latest information on their peer-reviewed gear-industry research. Be among the first to learn about new techniques for noise reduction, strain wave gear technology, clean steel, and more. Network with the researchers and engineers, ask your burning questions, and see what is in the future of this industry. Admission to the exhibit hall is included with your FTM registration.

FTM Sessions Include:

Session 1 — Application, Design, and Rating

Monday, October 14, 1–5 p.m.

Session 2 — Efficiency, Lubrication, Noise, and Vibration

Tuesday, October 15, 8 a.m.–noon

Session 3 — Materials and Heat Treatment

Tuesday, October 15, 1:30–5 p.m.

Session 4 — Manufacturing, Inspection, and Quality Control

Wednesday, October 16, 8 a.m.–noon

Session 5 — Optimization, Gear Wear and Failure

Wednesday, October 16, 1:30–5 p.m.

To register, visit:

AGMA Training

Bevel Gear System Design

July 10-12, 2019 | Oaklawn, Illinois

Learn how to design and apply bevel gears systems from the initial concept through manufacturing and quality control and on to assembly, installation, and maintenance. Engage in a practical hands-on guide to the bevel-gear design, manufacture, quality control, assembly, installation rating, lubrication, and most especially, application.

Detailed Gear Design

August 20-22, 2019 | Clearwater Beach, Florida

Learn how to improve gear designs and gain new insight into concepts presented through illustrations and demonstrations. Explore all factors that go into good gear design from life cycle, load, torque, tooth, optimization, and evaluating consequences.

Basic Training for Gear Manufacturing

September 9-13, 2019 | Chicago, Illinois

Learn the fundamentals of gear manufacturing in this hands-on course. Gain an understanding of gearing and nomenclature, principles of inspection, gear-manufacturing methods, and hobbing and shaping. Using manual machines, develop a deeper breadth of perspective and understanding of the process and physics of making a gear as well as the ability to apply this knowledge in working with CNC equipment commonly in use.

This course is at Daley College. A shuttle bus is available each day to transport students to and from the hotel.

Online Education

Don’t have the ability to come to one of AGMA’s fantastic face-to-face courses? We understand that you are busy and that is why we offer online education to meet your schedule. Now you can grow your gear knowledge, get the same quality AGMA education, and save money on travel by learning directly at your own computer. 

AGMA’s online education courses include:

  • Gear Failure Analysis.
  • Gearbox CSI: Gears Only.
  • Detailed Gear Design–Beyond Simple Service Factors.
  • Fundamentals of Gearing.
  • Hobbing.
  • Parallel Gear Inspection.

Calendar of Events

June 13 — Wormgearing Committee Meeting — WebEx

June 19 — Helical Enclosed Drives High Speed Units Committee Meeting — WebEx

June 20 — Helical Enclosed Drives Marine Units Committee — WebEx

July 9 — Lubrication Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 10 — Helical Enclosed Drives High Speed Units Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 11 — Metallurgy and Materials Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 16 — Cutting Tools Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 16 — Aerospace Gearing Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 17 — Gear Accuracy Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 18 — Plastics Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 24 — Vehicle Gearing Committee — WebEx

July 25 — Helical Gear Rating Committee Meeting — WebEx

July 26 — Fine-Pitch Gearing Committee Meeting — WebEx

August 6 — Helical Gear Rating Committee Meeting — WebEx

August 14 — Helical Enclosed Drives High Speed Units Committee Meeting — WebEx

August 14–15 — TDEC  Chicago, Illinois

August 22 — Lubrication Committee Meeting — WebEx