Meadville Tribune

Local News

March 20, 2013

RoboBOTS a 'feeder program' into area tooling industry


MEADVILLE — Local businesses can get tax credits for supporting RoboBOTS

RoboBOTS was funded for its first six years through a combination of local business sponsors and grants made available through the Regional Center for Workforce Excellence.

Now, businesses are provided with Pennsylvania tax credits, which means a percentage of the dollars contributed to the NWPA NTMA Education Foundation will offset taxes, according to Tami Adams, executive director of the northwest Pennsylvania chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association.

It’s done with the NWPA NTMA Education Foundation now offering qualified programs through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) to support the promotion of manufacturing careers to local youth including RoboBOTS, Adams said.

Adams said a number of area businesses have taken advantage of NWPA NTMA Education Foundation’s EITC: NuTec Tooling Systems, Northwest Savings Bank, C&J Industries, Acutec Precision Machining, Starlite Diversified Industries, McGill Power Bell & Associates, Peters’ Heat Treating and PNC Bank.

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Saga of a Toolmaker

By Larry Sippy

You don’t know me or what I do, but I am a toolmaker!

From the time you awaken, everything you touch in your day — I touched it first.

You press the snooze button on your alarm clock — I touched it first.

You use your cell phone, or open your refrigerator — I touched it first.

You start your car or your lawnmower — I touched it first.

This evening, when you use your TV remote or your toothbrush — I touched it first.

From the time you get up each morning to the time you go to bed at night, I have touched your life.

Remember me, I am a toolmaker! And I touched it first!

Larry Sippy, a retired toolmaker with a 50-year career, was a local leader in the tooling industry and a former national chairman of the National Tooling and Machining Association, an industry trade group.

He completed his tool and die maker apprenticeship at Sipco and spent his 50-year career growing with Sipco to become partner and president through the time of its sale in 2006. He was president of the northwest Pennsylvania chapter of the NTMA in 1984; served as the national NTMA Chairman in 2003; and retired to the golf course in 2009.

He devoted countless hours to apprenticeship and training programs by sponsoring more than 60 apprentices at Sipco, working with the community to build National Institute of Flexible Manufacturing, now known as Precision Manufacturing Institute, and partnering with national groups to develop the National Institute for Metalworking Standards.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

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