Tool & Die Maker Apprentice

Location : 1401 S. Washington, Holland, MI 49423


Who We Are:

Challenge Manufacturing is a leading Tier 1 automotive supplier to a growing portfolio of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers. Since 1981, Challenge Manufacturing has grown from a very small shop in Walker, Michigan to 12 locations across North America with 4,000 team members supported by 1,500 industrial robots.   


What Makes Us Different?

Challenge Manufacturing is an employee-owned company and is currently ranked in the top 50 largest employee-owned companies in North America. Being an employee-owned company enables the Company to maintain a collaborative and teamwork-oriented work culture. Additionally, over time as the company grows, employees will share in that upside financially through ESOP retirement benefits.


Challenge is #PeoplePowered!


Position Summary:

Conduct test runs with completed tools or dies to ensure that parts meet specifications; make adjustments as necessary.   Cut, shape, and trim blanks or blocks to specified lengths or shapes, using power saws, power shears, rules, and hand tools.  File, grind, shim, and adjust different parts to properly fit them together.  Fit and assemble parts to make, repair, or modify dies, jigs, gauges, and tools, using machine tools and hand tools.  

Inspect finished dies for smoothness, contour conformity, and defects. Lift, position, and secure machined parts on surface plates or worktables, using hoists, vises, v-blocks, or angle plates.  Measure, mark, and scribe metal or plastic stock to lay out machining, using instruments such as protractors, micrometers, scribes, and ruler.  Select metals to be used from a range of metals and alloys, based on properties such as hardness and heat tolerance.  

Set up and operate conventional or computer numerically controlled machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders to cut, bore, grind, or otherwise shape parts to prescribed dimensions and finishes.  Set up and operate drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly.  Smooth and polish flat and contoured surfaces of parts or tools, using scrapers, abrasive stones, files, emery cloths, or power grinders.  

Study blueprints, sketches, models, or specifications to plan sequences of operations for fabricating tools, dies, or assemblies.   Verify dimensions, alignments, and clearances of finished parts for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, gauge blocks, micrometers, and dial indicators.  

Visualize and compute dimensions, sizes, shapes, and tolerances of assemblies, based on specifications.   Cast plastic tools or parts, or tungsten-carbide cutting tips, using pre-made molds.  

Design jigs, fixtures, and templates for use as work aids in the fabrication of parts or products.  Develop and design new tools and dies, using computer-aided design software.   Set pyrometer controls of heat-treating furnaces, and feed or place parts, tools, or assemblies into furnaces to harden.



Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Log 2000 hour of on the job learning each year to gain the necessary skills to advance to the next level of the apprenticeship
  • Complete 144+/- hours of formal training annually outside of at GRCC (Grand Rapids Community College) with a “C” letter grade or higher
  • Maintain written log book of skills worked on and learned that is validated by the mentor regularly
  • Work side by side a Maintenance mentor for hands on learning and to ensure safe procedures are learned to work with presses, welders, robots, and  other industrial machinery throughout the plant
  • Must be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation. 

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Benefits We Offer:

We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, Health Savings Account with annual employer contributions, Flexible Spending Accounts, Company-Paid Short-Term Disability and Basic Life, Voluntary Life and LTD, Employer 401k Match, ESOP shares, tuition reimbursement, and paid time off.