Employee Spotlight: 9,000 Hours Later, Andrew Saltzman Becomes a DENSO Journeyman

After more than 9,000 hours of training and learning, Andrew Saltzman completed his DENSO tool and die apprenticeship this spring.

“I don’t think there was a part of my apprenticeship I didn’t enjoy,” said Andrew, an employee at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan. “Every task was a learning opportunity, whether working in tool and die, facilities or even for a short period in production when they needed help.”


Andrew joined DENSO as a temporary worker and hired into the condenser final assembly area in 2010. After two years in production, he became a machine technician, spending time in P-tank molding and radiator stamping. As he grew his skills and interest in the technical career path, he was quick to point out he applied for an apprenticeship twice.

“I made it to the interview stage the first time I applied, but wasn’t chosen. I was advised to apply again and was chosen the second time,” Andrew said. “If you always come to work striving to learn something new and aren’t afraid to ask for advice and wisdom from your peers, there is something to learn from every person you work with.”  

DENSO’s apprenticeship programs vary by location. In Battle Creek, DENSO employees combine classroom learning at the Kellogg Community College (KCC) Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) with intensive on-the-job training under the guidance of current DENSO skilled trades professionals. Tool & Die senior manager Chet Bush said on-the-job training is essential to a successful apprenticeship in molds and dies, because most practices can’t be taught in a classroom.

“Mold and dies are always the first level of a production facility’s foundation. If the tools don’t run, we can’t make parts,” Chet said. “Andrew really worked hard on the floor to fully understand each task he was faced with in his training. He learned mold and die repair, fin form roller repair and CNC machining throughout his apprenticeship. We’re really excited to celebrate this final step in him becoming a tool maker.”

Andrew is already putting his journeyman’s card to use as a Tool & Die employee in machining at the thermal facility in Battle Creek.