Jack Colonna, SHAPES CFO Retirement News and Gift to Youngstown State University

SHAPES Unlimited Incorporated- J.Colonna Retirement YSU Gifting - PR Release 06.05.2024

New CEO/President To Lead Shapes Unlimited Inc.

Youngstown, Ohio – Shapes Unlimited | Aluminum Building Products | Fences Gates Handrails Screens | Shapes Unlimited (shapesunlimitedinc.com) is a full service wholesale distributor of aluminum products to the building materials industry. Shapes Unlimited is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Doug Rende to enhance our people-focused organization that will both deliver tremendous value to customers and be a great place for our team members to work. “The opportunity to work with the highly competent Shapes team, along with the value of their unique industry capabilities and people focused mission, has guided my enthusiasm for this exciting new role,” said Doug Rende, CEO Shapes Unlimited.

Doug Rende Has Been Named, CEO/President To Lead Shapes Unlimited.
With over 30 years of executive leadership experience, Doug has driven successful organic and acquisitive growth strategies, sustainable branding initiatives, and digital transformations in the consumer durables, construction, and building materials industries. Over the course of his career, he has successfully led mature businesses, (Tremco CPG, Glen-Gery, and Armstrong Canada), along with profitable start-ups (Pergo, and Noel Group) and acquisitive growth ventures (NASL, Tremco, Ply Gem/Mitten Building Products). In Doug’s previous role as CEO, North American Specialty Laminations (NASL), he spearheaded the integration of three regional acquisitions and two greenfield locations in developing a branded, national manufacturing and distribution capability. Doug has held board of director’s positions within NAHB, NLBMDA, BIA, VSI, SEAL, PRO, NAFCD and NALFA, along with membership in the WDMA, KCMA and AFA organizations. He is a native Philadelphian, and a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton, Aresty Executive School.

Jack Colonna, Board Director of Shapes Unlimited noted, “Doug’s professional experience and seriousness of purpose in creating a people-focused organization are second to none. We are excited to have him leading our company and look forward to his meaningful contributions in expanding our customer, market, and channel opportunities”.


Jack Colonna
Board Director
Shapes Unlimited, Inc.
PH: 330-726-0844 (114)
Fax: 3309-758-4354
590 E. Western Reserve Rd.
Bldg. #4
Youngstown, Ohio 44514
(330) 726-0844

Partnerships with local non-profit is helping a Boardman manufacturer find qualified employees

Flying High Students Get Hands-On Welding Experience

As featured on BusinessJournalDaily.com, Written By Dan O’Brien

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Kennedy Stewart said she’s had aspirations for a career in the manufacturing sector for several years. Now, she’s living out that dream thanks to a program that prepares adults for jobs in the industry.

“I started welding three years ago,” she says. “I went to Choffin for two years, then took a year off to save some money.”

Then, she heard about the Mahoning Valley Partnership for Employment, a program sponsored by Flying High Inc. Flying High is a not-for-profit organization that helps those who have experienced educational or legal barriers that have hindered them from entering the job market.

“I went through the three-month course and got this job,” Stewart says.

Stewart is now three months into her new job as a welder at Shapes Unlimited Inc. in Boardman, a partner company in the program.

“We manufacture a welded, powder coated gate, and Flying High is working with us in our weld shop,” says Steve Gruver, president. “Over the past two years, we’ve been doing really well.”

The company has 44 full-time employees, two of which were hired from the Flying High program. Shapes Unlimited sells wholesale fencing and gate assemblies to distributors and contractors east of the Mississippi.

“We’ll do anything to help the community, and we’d love to do more of this,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to learn about it and have hands-on experience. For us, it could mean potential employees down the road.”

Pictured: Christian McCarty, welding student and Kennedy Stewart, Shapes Unlimited welder and former student.

David Knickerbocker, the program’s job developer for manufacturing, says you gain hands-on experience when working with companies such as Shapes Unlimited. “When we had students graduate, they had problems getting acclimated,” he says. “Most of them never welded before.”

Knickerbocker said the solution was to invite companies to partner with the program and allow students to work on-site so they could gain fundamental knowledge of an industrial workplace.

This week, students in the welding program were gaining field experience at Shapes Unlimited and Columbiana Boiler in Columbiana, Knickerbocker said.

Flying High operates its own welding school and lab from the former Cafaro Hospital in Youngstown. It also runs a machinist program and uses a lab at Eastern Gateway Community College for the program. “We also do on-the-job training contracts,” he said. “Our graduates are earning while they’re learning.”

Joe Crockett, assistant welding instructor at Flying High, says the program opens up a tremendous amount of opportunity for those who would otherwise be overlooked in the job market. “It bridges the gap,” he said. “It gives them the field experience they need. That’s what’s great about this program.”

Those who have come through the program and are now working at the company have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to their job, observes Tony Boykin, assistant manager and head welder at Shapes Unlimited. “We’ve gone through a lot of welders, and we get a high grade welder coming out of this program.”

Knickerbocker says students in the manufacturing program – the partnership also operates a similar training and employment initiative for health care – must meet at least five criteria to enter the program. Among these are possession of a valid driver’s license, a vehicle, completion of professionalism classes, completion of soft-skills training courses, and be able to pass a drug test.

“We begin to work on their resumes at the start of week eight,” of the 15-week program, Knickerbocker said. “We send the resumes out during week 12 and they start interviewing with our partner companies.”

Flying High partners with about 25 local companies, and has placed about 100 students in the manufacturing and health care programs, he said.

“I’m in the welding program and you learn all the processes,” said Christian McCarty, a student at Flying High. “They help you find a job, too. Everything you need to get into the workforce and thrive, to make a better life.”

Welding is an important trade to learn, McCarty says, since the pay is good and there appears to be a lot of job opportunity in the market. “There’s always a demand for it.”