MRO Magazine

Axalta Participates in National 4-H Leadership Conference

June 23, 2016
By Business Wire News


Axalta employees at the company’s Mount Clemens manufacturing plant have been making a difference in the lives of local youth for many years by serving as mentors. This summer, these mentors will support local youth in a new learning experience as, together, they attend 4-H Leadership Washington Focus.

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Axalta employees mentor 4-H Leadership Conference participants (Photo: Axalta)

Axalta employees mentor 4-H Leadership Conference participants (Photo: Axalta)

Axalta’s Gary Weaks, Karen Putinsky and Kris Wright have been mentoring students at Mount Clemens schools through Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Tech Wizards program. The program focuses on building relationships through mentoring between adult role models and students ages 14-19 as they interact through S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) related topics and activities. Axalta employees’ long-term commitment to the program and local youth has been greatly appreciated by program staff and their mentees.

“These three Axalta mentors have been tremendous with the youth,” said Lisa Kelley, 4-H Tech Wizards Program Coordinator. “The students look forward to working with them weekly. I couldn’t have asked for nicer, kinder or smarter people to be mentors.”

Thanks to their ongoing support of the program and a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and National 4-H Council, Axalta mentors Weaks, Putinsky and Wright were selected to attend 4-H Leadership Washington Focus with their mentees. The intensive 4-H leadership development program took place at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland the week of June 20. During the event, mentors and mentees participated in experiential learning that boosts leadership competency in four areas: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. The program is intended to prepare youth to become leaders in their communities and provides them with a great opportunity for personal growth and development.

“We’re very excited to be able to share our experience and talent with students who participate in the Tech Wizards program,” said Gary Weaks, Axalta OEM Operations Quality Manager. “The students have great attendance and participation in the weekly after-school sessions and summer camps. It is one of the many ways Axalta gives back to the communities in which we work and live.

To learn more about the mentoring program supported by Axalta employees, visit the 4-H Tech Wizards website at

About Axalta Coating Systems – Celebrating 150 Years in the Coatings Industry

Axalta is a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the approximately 12,800 people of Axalta continue to find ways to serve our more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information visit and follow us @axalta on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Axalta Coating Systems
Virginia Gronley, +1 586-468-9068