• AMFA History

  • 1997

    • Arrowhead Metal Fabricators Association formed in December of 1997 with 11 founding members

    1998

    • President Gene Betts oversees the process of becoming a legal 501(C)6 nonprofit corporation
    • AMFA uses a $7,000 development grant from NRRI to develop a monthly newsletter, Shoptalk.

    1999

    • President Mark Shervey leads dialog with Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association (TSMA), a similar organization located in west central Minnesota, on ways the two organizations can work together
    • The first annual AMFA-ET Golf Fund Raiser is held in June

    2000

    • AMFA and TSMA form a “central office” called Midwest Manufacturers’ Association, which becomes official in January 2001
    • Trifac Workers Compensation Fund enables AMFA members to save on insurance costs
    • Name changed to Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association

    2001

    • Work Force Development Conference held to address need for skilled workers in the region
    • AMFA Educational Trust is created to address workforce issues

    2002

    • AMFA develops its first comprehensive strategic plan
    • Star of the North Machine Technology Program (SONTEC) accepts its first 16 students for training at Proctor High School. 
    • Membership grows to 61

    2003

    • AMFA makes its first appearance at Duluth Day at the Capitol

    2004

    • AMFA is a founding member of the Minnesota Manufacturers Coalition, an organization representing more than 20 service organization serving manufacturers in Minnesota.

    2005

    • AMFA-ET partners with Mars Supply to introduce the “Tool Box Scholarship Program,” providing financial assistance for students entering the Machine Technology Program at Lake Superior College.

    2006

    • AMFA members add their voices to others from the MN Mfg. Coalition in an attempt to impact legislation pertaining to the rebate process for collecting Sales Tax on Capital Equipment.
    • AMFA invests in a completely renovated website

    2007

    • Attendance at the 9th annual AMFA ET golf social tops 100, generating record profits of $18,000
    • AMFA takes a leadership role with the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council.
    • Membership grows to 75 companies.

    2008

    • AMFA spearheads the production of a special newspaper publication called Shaping the Northland, with a goal to promote career opportunities in manufacturing.
    • AMFA helps launch Central MN Manufacturers Association (CMMA) – a new association serving the St. Cloud region.
    • To date, the Trifac Work Comp Fund has awarded more than $8 million in dividends

    2009

    • MMA adds a second staff position to assist Sandy Kashmark in providing services to three associations
    • AMFA attends the SME Tradeshow in Duluth as a first-time exhibitor

    2010

    • AMFA and IRRRB team up for their first join appearance at the FabTech Expo, held in Atlanta
    • Free job posting announced as a member benefit

    2011

    • AMFA teams up with the Canadian Consulate for the first of many joint events
    • AMFA hosts Tabletop Trade Show and Energy Conference in Duluth
    • With AMFA’s leadership, MMA explores partnership opportunities in Thunder Bay, Canada
    • MMA helps stage the first Statewide Tour of Manufacturing during manufacturing month

    2012

    • A new AMFA website is launched
    • AMFA and AMFA Educational Trust take steps to allow governance by a shared board of directors
    • AMFA adopts free membership for K-12 schools in the region

    2013

    • New Education Partnership Committee launched to improve communication between manufacturers and K-12 educators and administration
    • Beer Tasting fundraiser introduced in March 2013

    2014

    • Manufacturers are encouraged to use free Legislator Connection to schedule a tour with a legislator
    • Membership surpasses 100!

    2015

    • Education Sponsor program introduced to offset the cost of free meals for K-12 attendees
    • December Roundtable introduced to gather feedback from membership

    2016

    • AMFA Legislative Priorities Paper creates “one voice” related to manufacturing issues in the region
    • Arrowhead Manufacturing Connection website is launched on the premise of using NAICS codes to solicit RFQs

    2017

    • Revived AMFA Training committee hosts two collaborative training session in 2017
    • AMFA partners with MPMA to pass new Youth Skills Training legislation
    • MMA offers self-funded, stop-loss insurance option for companies with 5 or more employees
    • AMFA ET grants total more than $160,000 since 2005
    • AMFA celebrates 20 Years!