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2021 AWMA Signing Day!

The Adams Wells Manufacturing Alliance held our 2nd Annual Signing Day event last Thursday, May 6th at the Wells County Arts, Commerce, and Visitors Centre in Bluffton, Indiana. It was a difficult year for AWMA to get into schools and get in front of students but we were excited that we had 6 local students sign and commit to graduate and enter a local skilled trade career.

Students from Wells and Adams Counties attended with their parents, school representatives, and employer to be honored and congratulated on taking the leap into a skilled trade career. The night started with a lovely meal catered by The Lighted Gardens and then was followed by a message from AWMA executive, Joe Elkins and ending the night with having each graduate signing their certificate and receiving a $100 signing bonus from the AWMA.

Students being recognized were:

Carson Liby
Parents – Chris and Laura Liby
HS Program - Welding CTE/ICE
Employer – Building Temperature Solutions/HVAC
School – Norwell
Instructor – Ron Harnish

Garrett Lantz
Parents – Chad and Stephanie Lantz
High School Program – Auto Tech; Internship
Employer – Fort Wayne Wheel Repair
School – Norwell
Instructor – Kevin Morris; Ron Harnish

Tanner Felger
Parents – Tonya and P.J. Felger
High School Program – WBL; CTE Welding
Employer – Felger-Hart
School – Norwell
Instructor – Ron Harnish

James Mounsey
Parents – Jody and Kristi Mounsey
High School Program – ICE
Employer - Buskirk Engineering
School - Southern Wells
Instructor – Steve Linderwell

Andrew Smitley
Parents – Shannon and Missy Smitley
High School Program – ICE
Employer – Adams Swine Farms (Matt Adams and Christopher Adams)
School – South Adams
Counselor – Chris Gilbert

Desimond Barr
Parents – Ken and Sandi Barr
High School Program – ICE
Employer – Weigand Construction
School - Adams Central
Instructor – Matt Hunter

The AWMA wants to once again congratulate these signees on a job well done! Local manufacturers are in need of skilled workers who are committed, willing to learn, and are excited to launch their adult lives. We thank you for being an example to underclassmen and showing them that not everyone is made to go to a 4-year college and that’s okay. Our local workforce is just as important and it takes all different types of jobs to make our world go round.

The AWMA’s mission is to educate students, parents, and educators about the benefits and local opportunities that skilled trade careers have to offer. We partner with our members to go into schools and give presentations, go on field trips to do facility tours, and are here to advertise job openings, internships, and apprenticeship listings as needed. We are always looking for local manufacturers to join and help strengthen manufacturing education here in Wells and Adams counties. If you are interested in joining the alliance – please email Joe Elkins at

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