Value Tool & Engineering, Inc.

ISO 9001 / AS 9100 Compliant

   Home      News     Contact     Quality    Vendors     Products & Services    Customers    Vision   Capabilities/Equipment

Repair & CalibrationTooling / R & DElectronicsGround Support EQProduction

Special MachinesDiagnostic TestersDesign

See our Photo Gallery for more examples of our capabilities



Company Information Page

Apprentice Academy fills a gap

  • Steve Hartz was frustrated that many job applicants were unqualified and lacked even basic skills for openings at his company, Value Tool and Engineering Co. in South Bend.

    So he decided to do something about it.

    Hartz, a South Bend native, founded the Apprentice Academy in 2007 with the goal of helping job seekers get the education and skill training they needed to find work.

    “I’d thought about this for a long time and talked with other business owners who had the same problem,” he says.

    Hartz, 52, worked his way up through a tool-and-die apprenticeship. He then labored for another firm, became its general manager and then started his own business in 1998 to make prototypes, test equipment and production hardware for the aerospace industry. His company now has 45 workers.

    Apprentice Academy is unique, Hartz says, because students do not need to have high school diplomas to enroll. They can take entry-level math and reading classes as well as courses in precision machining, industrial maintenance, phlebotomy (drawing blood), medical transcription and how to be a home health aide. They range in length from four weeks to 18 months.

    Hartz worked with Vincennes University’s Business and Industry program to set up Apprentice Academy’s curriculum. The course work and instructors are qualified through Vincennes and students can earn college credits.

    “We are trying to fill a gap,” Hartz says. “One of the barriers to job training is the lack of a GED or a high school diploma. In certain areas of the city, that can be at least 50 percent of the population.

    “Our philosophy is to get students in, give them some basic skills so they can get a job and then encourage them to go on with their education and get their GED fully understanding that getting a job so they can eat is more important, up front.”

    Teaching life skills

    Hartz says the Apprentice Academy also teaches life skills.

    “We stress that it’s also important to show up on time, dress appropriately, not talk on your cell phone at work, so-called ‘soft skills’ that sometimes people have a hard time comprehending. But our students understand the importance of these soft skills, because they want to work.”

    Hartz says the Apprenticeship Academy currently has between 75 and 100 students. So far, 100 have graduated from the programs, including two he has hired at his company.


Value Tool & Engineering, Inc.

Partners in your Products

Your one stop Manufacturing Solution

Value Tool & Engineering, Inc. is a full service Firm offering Value to the Customer

Value Tool & Engineering is truly your one stop Manufacturing solution

 We offer a wide range of Products and Services for our Customer's convenience

We work in partnership with our Customers to ensure they are satisfied with the products and services received

I wish to take this opportunity to thank our Customers for there continued support               Steven Hartz     President

We are proud Members of the NTMA National Machine and Tool Association

Contact Information

Telephone 574-246-1913   
Fax  574-246-1914
Postal address
2629 Foundation Drive, South Bend, Indiana 46628
General Information:
Sales and Customer Support:
Quality Manager: