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When it comes to helping educate young people about the industry, it's full STEAM ahead for M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, CA). While some moldmakers and molders sit back and gripe about the lack of young people entering the trades, Rick Finnie does something about it.

Clare Goldsberry

July 6, 2015

2 Min Read
M.R. Mold & Engineering wants young people to get STEAMed

When it comes to helping educate young people about the industry, it's full STEAM ahead for M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, CA). While some moldmakers and molders sit back and gripe about the lack of young people entering the trades, Rick Finnie does something about it.

M.R.-mold-STEAM-350_0.jpg"College is not for everyone, and collectively, as an industry, through TMA, NTMA, AMBA, SPI, SPE and other organizations and associations, we are educating young people that manufacturing is their alternative to college," said Finnie, President of M.R. Mold & Engineering, a mold manufacturer that specializes in liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molds and processing technologies, and injection molds.

Recently, M.R. Mold teamed up with Century High School in nearby Santa Ana, CA, to introduce students to the moldmaking trade. Century High School promotes a program called STEAM (Science/ Technology/Engineering/Art/Math), offering students related technology courses. Finnie visited the school and introduced M.R. Mold and the moldmaking trade to the students. Two weeks later, 18 students and three teachers toured M.R. Mold to get a firsthand look at the company.

They began the tour in the engineering department and were shown how their classes in high school apply to the moldmaking industry. Their tour of the production floor introduced them to the many types of machines and processes that are a part of building a mold. The two-hour experience ended in the Tech Center, where the students saw three completed molds all running and producing parts: A plastic injection mold, silicone injection mold, and compression mold.

Also in attendance were representatives from the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) and R.D. Abbott Co., a local supplier of elastomeric polymer materials, who also helped educate the students.

Surveys provided to the students after the tour confirmed that the tour was successful in educating the students about the mold manufacturing industry. Students who knew nothing about plastics manufacturing before the tour had become interested in how things are made. "I always say to young people, ‘you don't have to become a moldmaker, but find your passion and build something!'" said Finnie. "Take pride in the fact that you used your hands to produce something."

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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