Modern Makers are individuals whose sense of purpose embodies the Manufacturing USA mission to secure the future of U.S. manufacturing through innovation, education, and collaboration. We celebrate the inspirational yet relatable stories from college students to executives, who are at work in our ecosystem at manufacturing innovation institutes and member companies.

Meet the Modern Makers

Meet the Modern Makers who were nominated by the Manufacturing USA institutes and who help power the Manufacturing USA ecosystem:

Brenna Schneider

Entrepreneur, economic impact champion, nature lover


Ashley Totin

Additive manufacturing force, TV host, Lego enthusiast

America Makes

Aeon Williams

Programmer, gamer, cosplay character creator

AIM Photonics

Rodrigo Perez

Mechanical engineer, tech in manufacturing, athlete


Adonis Summerville

Machining Mentor, Muscle Car Fanatic, Pool Player


Fatima Majid

Robotics instructor, STEM advocate, Sci-Fi fan


John Williams, Ph.D.

R&D standout, teacher, scouting dad who leads tank wars


Victor Veliadis

Institute leader, Power semiconductor innovator, Karate Black Belt


John Louka

Application engineer, puzzle solver, tinkerer


Lance Miller

Aspiring engineer, contest winner, performer


Rachel Swamy

Biomedical engineer, future bioinformatics designer, lifetime learner


John Kreckel

Connector, sustainability advocate, outdoor enthusiast


Maria Araujo

Technology architect, global tourist, local cyclist


Kim Lemay

Operations Specialist, Safety Guru, Soccer Mom


Jim DeKloe

Biotech pioneer, teacher, community advocate


Tymeeka Middleton

Builder of cyber careers, veteran transitions, and decadent desserts


We hope Modern Makers' stories inspire you to consider a career in manufacturing. There is an estimated 4 million manufacturing positions to fill by 2030.

Infographic depicting the need to fill 4 million manufacturing jobs by 2030. Graphic provided by: Deloitte analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and estimates from the Deloitte economic analysis using the Oxford Global Economic Model.

Pathways to Manufacturing Careers

Today's manufacturing jobs offer high-paying opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies in a wide range of fast-growing fields. Driven by a renewed investment in U.S. manufacturing innovation, the growth potential for these jobs is high – more than 1.3 million manufacturing jobs have been added to the U.S. economy over the past decade. These jobs require skills that many Americans already have and don't necessarily need a college or advanced degree to do, making it easier to upgrade to a manufacturing career than you might think.

Three Ways to Start a Career in Manufacturing:

Step 1

Learn More

Explore advanced manufacturing careers and resources through the institutes’ websites or others in your region.

Step 2

Find Training

Attend workshops, open houses, find courses, internships, apprenticeships, and more.

Step 3


Pursue a rewarding career in advanced manufacturing through countless open positions.


Hear from the Modern Makers

Five of the Modern Makers made guest appearances on SME's Advanced Manufacturing Now podcast. 

Graphic with images of John Louka (male, no hair, wearing glasses and a dark button down shirt) and Rodrigo Perez (male, wearing safety goggles and a dark polo) announcing SME's Advanced Manufacturing Now podcast episode featuring Rodrigo and Louka.


Modern Makers John Louka of CESMII and Rodrigo Perez of MxD have much in common as application and system integration engineers, and they discuss how they arrived at their respective jobs at Manufacturing USA institutes, high-tech jobs of the future, the future of AI, and much more. Listen to their episode.







Graphic for Advanced Manufacturing Podcast featuring Modern Maker Adonis Summerville. Click to listen to podcast on SME website.

Modern Maker Adonis Summerville tells his incredible story about how a CNC machining training program helped him turn his life around. Adonis became an ace machinist and is now a senior metalworking skills instructor at the Jane Addams Resource Corporation based in Chicago. He is active in the growing America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) national training initiative, which is part of IACMI. Listen to his episode.







Graphic for SME's Advanced Manufacturing Podcast featuring Modern Makers Aeon Williams and Rachel Swamy. Click to listen to the episode.

Aeon Williams is a software application engineer at Spark Photonics (AIM Photonics), and Rachel Swamy is a research assistant at NIIMBL. While Aeon and Rachel didn’t see themselves in manufacturing, they followed their passions in science and technology and found sustaining careers, challenging the status quo along the way. Listen to their episode.