Rob Thorgren originally planned to become a physical education teacher and coach like two of his mentors. “I graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, the study of human movement, at mid-year. There were no teaching jobs to be had during Christmas break,” he recalls.
“My dad asked me if I could help him out with a project for a couple of months until I could get a teaching job. I stayed on with the company because I loved it,” Thorgren says. “I felt like I was contributing something that was important.” The company he has stayed with for the past 11 years is Thorgren Tool and Molding Inc., a Valparaiso-based manufacturing and distribution firm started by his great-grandfather and grandfather in 1946. The company creates injection molded plastic parts for the appliance industry.
“We estimate that every American home has at least four of our parts in it. We make fans and air movement parts for refrigerators and microwaves for almost all the major appliance manufacturers,” he says.
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