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United Way of Long Island’s YOUTHBUILD Students Discover the Wonders Of the D’Addario Manufacturing Company Based in Farmingdale

March 10, 2016 (Deer Park, NY) ­- United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild students recently explored D’Addario and Company, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories, including guitar strings and drumheads used by musicians around the world.  Students went on a private tour of the Farmingdale, NY headquarters, enjoyed a discussion on how to “Play Fearlessly”, and learned about life lessons and successful career paths with professional bass player and educator, Tom Barney.

Students were able to receive a real-life experience at D’Addario. The two-part tour included a visit to the Evans Drumheads facility and then a tour of D’Addario’s string factory. Students received a hands-on experience when walking through the line, by feeling the aluminum of the drum heads and watching it come together. D’Addario provided the students with a visual of how every part of the assembly line was unique and significant.

Every student was in awe of how the manufacturing facility was laid out; everything was systematic and organized to ensure elite production. “This was such a great experience,” stated one of the YouthBuild students, who really enjoyed seeing how so much work and precision went into making one string. Students were astounded by the complex engineering that was used to create a product that worked efficiently, and to learn the fact that 700,000 strings are made each and every day!

After learning about the process of making the equipment, students enjoyed a discussion with famed bass player Tom Barney. Barney, who has played with renowned musicians including Rod Stewart and Billie Holiday, is currently a member of the orchestra for The Lion King on Broadway. Throughout his conversation with the students, Barney kept reminding them that if they put in the time and effort that they would be successful in whatever career path they chose.

Students were bright eyed when walking out of the conference room. One student, Anthony Carter, said that he would like to start his own business. He stated, “The experience inspired me to want to achieve more for myself, and it’s because of exposure like this that shows me it’s possible.” Jose Diaz was fascinated on how “they made their product and their own setup from scratch.” Ra-Shaleek Walker liked “why they manufactured strings and how they made the machinery so that their product is unique. The experience was enjoyable, even though I am not a musician.”

When the YouthBuild students were asked about the interaction with Tom Barney, Diaz stated, “He is inspiring.” Syndi Fredrick was pleased to be able to meet Barney, stating, “His wisdom was rewarding. When it was time to leave we discussed my career track in culinary, and he told me he wanted to pursue culinary once he retired.”

Overall, each student walked away with a positive new thought, experience and lesson from the D’Addario manufacturing facility. Elizabeth Morgan, YouthBuild Director, stated, “The company provided our students with a closer look as to the importance of being an efficient team player, and working together, is necessary because each job is dependent of one another to manufacture the best product.”

To learn more about D’Addario visit For information on United Way’s YouthBuild Long Island program visit

Photo Caption: United Way of Long Island YouthBuild students joined D’Addario staff and professional musician Tom Barney for an exclusive tour of D’Addario and Company, Inc. in Farmingdale, New York. Standing L to R: D’Addario Senior Product Specialist Brian Johnson; YouthBuild Program Associate Andre Galloway; YouthBuild Program Manager Alexander Medina; Rashaleek Walker; Corey Crawford; YouthBuild Career Development Coordinator MarieElena Vulpis; YouthBuild Director Elizabeth Morgan; Tyler Milford; Herik Ramirez; Batique Carter; Brian Jerrick; D’Addario Product Specialist Kristen McKeon; Kimall Jerrick; Jose Diaz; Kimble Jerrick; Syndi Federick; D’Addario General Counsel and Member of United Way of Long Island Board of Directors John Burke. Kneeling L to R: Eboni Hazzard; Professional Bass Player Tom Barney; and D’Addario Foundation Coordinator David Krell.

About YouthBuild Long Island

YouthBuild Long Island, a program of United Way of Long Island, is a youth and community development program, addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. At YouthBuild, low-income young men, women and veterans, ages 18 - 24, work towards their TASC diploma while learning hands-on job skills. YouthBuild Long Island is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, New York State Department of Labor, Island Outreach Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Citi Community Development, Long Island Elite, MSC Industrial Direct, New York Community Bank Foundation, Veronica B. Renken and Byron T. & Ruth D. Miller.

About D’Addario

D'Addario & Company, Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories marketed under several product divisions: D'Addario Fretted and Orchestral Strings, Evans Drumheads, Promark Drumsticks, Puresound, D'Addario Woodwinds, and D'Addario/Planet Waves Accessories. A family-owned and operated business with roots dating back to the 17th century and 1,100 employees worldwide, the company manufactures 95% of its products in the U.S. employing Toyota's Lean manufacturing principles. D'Addario musical accessories are distributed in 120 countries, serve more than 3,000 U.S. retailers, all major e-commerce sites, and are the preferred choice of professional and serious amateur musicians worldwide including Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz + more.