Students sign on to trades jobs

The Adams Wells Manufacturing Alliance held the 2nd Annual Signing Day event  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 for the opportunity to recognize 6 local students who signed and committed to graduate and enter a local skilled trade career.

Students from Wells and Adams counties attended with their parents, school representatives and employers; they were honored and congratulated on taking the leap into a skilled trade career. Lighted Gardens of Ossian provided the meal for the event. AWMA executive, Joe Elkins provided a message from the organization prior to each graduate signing their certificate and receiving a $100 signing bonus from the AWMA.

Students recognized were:

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

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

Tanner Felger
Parents – Tonya and P.J. Felger
High School Program – Welding & Work Based Learning
Employer – Felger-Hart
School – Norwell
Instructor – Kevin Powell, Ron Harnish

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

Andrew Smitley
Parents – Shannon and Missy Smitley
High School Program – Work Based Learning
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 – Work Based Learning
Employer – Weigand Construction
Instructor – Matt Hunter


The AWMA congratulates 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. Our local workforce is important; it takes all types of jobs to meet the demands of our economy.

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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