Trend Talks: Anna Claire Conrad

In the wake of the New Year, gear-manufacturing institutions across the globe are making continuing education and training a priority for 2015. This is resulting in a more qualified workforce, leading to better products and services.


Growing up, my parents made sure I understood the value of education. I attended the best schools in my area, studied hard, and always turned in my best effort. Thanks to their good example and constant push for me to take advantage of the opportunities in front of me, I remain a student to this day—constantly observing, absorbing, and trying to make sense of the world around me.

That same quest for learning is necessary to be successful in the gearing community. With so many innovations in gear technology, it’s crucial that those involved— engineers, employers, manufacturers, business owners, educators, and employees—keep up with it all. Just as a stalled car wont carry you anywhere, nor can a workforce insufficiently trained in the latest technology. That’s why continuing education is so valuable in this industry.

 The new year will bring ample opportunities for the gear industry to expand its knowledge of everything from cutting processes and grinding to dear design and engineering. These dates of interest can be easily pinpointed in Gear Solutions’ 2015 calendar.

Last year, we witnessed several titans of the gear-manufacturing industry offer classes and training sessions for those seeking to learn and perfect their art. Kapp Technologies is one of those institutions. Last year, the Kapp-Niles Rocky Mountain Gear Finishing School—the premier of its kind in the United States—provided classroom- and shop-floor-style lessons focused on advances in profile and generating gear grinding. This program attracted students from around the globe, greenhorns and veterans alike, proving education is indeed a career-long enterprise.

This year’s Rocky Mountain Gear Finishing School will take place September 16-18 in Boulder, Colorado.

Similarly, you can’t discuss education in the gear community without mentioning the Gleason Corporation. Just like last year, Gleason has dominated our 2015 calendar by offering several training sessions each month throughout the new year ranging from machine operations and maintenance to gear lapping and heat treatments through The Gleason Works. Open to novices and experts alike, the training opportunities can be found on Gleason’s website and in our calendar.

Continuing its long-standing commitment to professional development, this year, the AGMA another big name in education within the gear industry is, of course, AGMA. Throughout the past nine years, this institution has gradually built up its advanced gear engineering course opportunities to create the AGMA Advanced Engineering Academy. Last year, more than 1,400 people took advantage of those classes, and the numbers keep trending upward. Participants were awarded an AGMA Advanced Gear Engineering Certificate.

In addition to the courses and webinars AGMA offers, there’s also the 2015 Gear Expo coming up in October, where people can see firsthand what’s going on in the gear industry and learn what they need to do to best benefit their clients and workforce.

As AGMA approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016, the association expects to ramp up its education and training opportunities—including z historical look at the advances in gear manufacturing technology over the past century.

Since its founding in 1916, the AGMA has broadened its leadership role as the gear industry weathered ever-changing global markets, economic pitfalls, wars, and technological advances. The AGMA was originally founded to solve a problem— the gears used in street railway operations were loud, resulting in the need for standardized practices within the industry. Today, the association tackles modern problems within the industry and creates discussion among gear manufacturers furthering its role in education.

Regardless of experience or expertise, the gear manufacturing industry offers plentiful, wide-ranging opportunities for professional development. Make sure to check out our interview with Jeannine Kunz, managing director of workforce development and education at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), for more ways to take advantage of educational opportunities for yourself and your employees in 2015.

For More Information:
– Additional information regarding the 8th annual Rocky Mountain Finishing School and the strides Kapp-Niles in making on the forefront of gear education can be found online at its website,
– More information regarding the Gleason Works and its educational opportunities can be found at
– All major dates of interest and information regarding the AGMA can be found online at
– Information regarding the opportunities mentioned above and others offered throughout 2015 can be found on our calendar, at, and on our app.

For more information on workforce development and education, please see our conversation with Jeanine Kunz of the SME on page 56.