Public Release: 

NJIT and ManufactureNJ to host opening ceremony for New Jersey Manufacturing Week Sept. 28

New Jersey Institute of Technology

WHO: NJIT will host the opening ceremony for New Jersey Manufacturing Week: Talent Driving Prosperity.

WHAT: Free and open to the public, this enlightening half-day event kicks off an exciting week of workshops, talks and festivities to draw awareness to the shortage of workers for New Jersey manufacturers and offer innovative ideas on ways to train, recruit and retain a network of skilled, talented manufacturing professionals.

The program will include guest speakers from New Jersey's manufacturing sector and a stimulating panel discussion moderated by Ian Trammell, executive director of MechaForce, a statewide program, which aims to prepare 500 New Jerseyans to become apprentices in over 50 manufacturing firms.

There will be a live broadcast of Manufacturing Talk Radio, an industry-leading, news breaking Internet show hosted by keynote speakers Lewis Weiss and Tim Grady, who will discuss solutions to impede the skills gap crisis facing U.S. manufacturers.

In addition to their keynote speech, Weiss and Grady will interview NJIT President Joel S. Bloom and Sandvik Coromant Corporation's Senior Project Leader, JoAnn Mitchell, live from the event. The conversations will air as part of a larger segment Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.

WHEN: Monday, Sept. 28, 2015

8:30 a.m.- 9:20 a.m.

  • Registration
  • Opening Remarks: Gale Tenen Spak, Associate VP, Continuing & Distance Education, NJIT and Ray Vaccari, Director, ManufactureNJ Talent Network
  • Welcome: Joel S. Bloom, President, NJIT
  • Presentation of NJ Manufacturing Week Proclamation: Catherine Starghill, Executive Director, Workforce Operations & Business Services at N.J. Department of Labor & Workforce Development

9:30 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

  • Keynote Address: Lewis Weiss, President & CEO of All Metals & Forge Group; President & CEO of Manufacturing Talk Radio, LLC and Tim Grady, VP of All Metals & Forge Group; Executive Producer & Host of Manufacturing Talk Radio
  • Developing our Youth for Careers in Manufacturing: JoAnn Mitchell, Senior Project Leader, Sandvik Coromant Corporation
  • Introduction to MechaForce Panel Discussion: Dr. Fadi P. Deek, Provost & Senior Executive VP, Academic Affairs, NJIT
  • Dream It. Do It. Program Updates: Michael Marchetti, Manager, ManufacturingNJ Talent Network
  • 2016 NJ Makers Day: James Keehbler, Director, Piscataway Township Public Library; 2012 NJLA Librarian of the Year

11:15 a.m.

MechaForce Panel Discussion: Ian Trammell, Executive Director, MechaForce (Moderator)
JoAnn Mitchell, Senior Project Leader, Sandvik Coromant Corporation
Gib Gratti, Director of Engineering, Stryker Corporation
Samuel Lieber, Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology Mechatronics, NJIT
Patricia Fenn, Executive Director, Distance Learning, Ocean County College
Representatives from participating community colleges, technical high schools and manufacturers

12:15 p.m.

  • Summary of NJ Manufacturing Week Events and Closing Remarks: Raymond Vaccari, Director, ManufactureNJ Talent Network

WHERE: NJIT Campus Center Atrium. For directions, visit

WHY: It's reported that by 2025, there will be 2 million vacant U.S. manufacturing jobs. To help meet the growing demand and address the skills shortage of the rapidly evolving industry, thought leaders are on a quest to educate and become directly involved with the next generation of employees to help reshape their outdated perception of modern manufacturing careers.

"U.S. Manufacturing's future lies in educating men and women for skill-intensive manufacturing jobs involving STEM and computing," says Gale Tenen Spak, associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Education at NJIT, which houses New Jersey's ManufactureNJ Talent Network. "Educational innovations such as ManufactureNJ and the MechaForce Program hold a key to lifelong employability at acceptable wage levels for professionals who fill the U.S. manufacturing workforce gap, revealing the gap--at its heart--to be one in education and training."

REGISTER: Admission is free. Register and reserve at EventBrite.

ENGAGE: Registrants, guest speakers and editors are encouraged to use the hashtag #MFGNJ.


CONTACT: For additional information and editorial inquiries, please email Janine Kroner at

About NJIT

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks fifth among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to

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