New York institutions add plastics courses
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monroe Community College and the Rochester Institute of Technology are beefing up their plastics programs, in response to concerns about a shortage of skilled workers by the Rochester section of the Society of Plastics Engineers.
MCC now offers four plastics-related courses in its manufacturing and mechanical technology programs. MCC of Rochester also is exploring degree options for students interested in the field.
RIT also has upper-level classes as part of two bachelor's degrees in engineering technology. The institute is in the process of establishing a plastics process laboratory as part of its Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies. Administrators at both schools are discussing an agreement to ease transfer for MCC students to RIT.
Jeffrey Bartkovich, MCC associate vice president for curriculum and program development, said the school may establish a certificate program to train students for SPE's Plastic Technology Certification Exam.
Lake Michigan College moving to Niles, Mich.
NILES, MICH. — Lake Michigan College is moving into a technology park in Niles. The college hopes to relieve southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana's shortage of trained plastics industry workers. The college will emphasize metalworking and plastics and open in the fall of 1998.
``The [plastics] industry has been working since 1988 for additional training,'' said Pat Dittrich, vice president of Aucilla Inc. ``We have great hopes that we will get local people with the proper training to stay in the area.'' Aucilla is a custom molder of small thermoplastic precision parts.
``Businesses in the Michiana region have been discussing the possibility of additional training of this type for years,'' said Pat McMahon, executive director of Project Future. ``These programs and services will ensure highly skilled employees into the technical work force.''
Project Future is an economic development agency for Indiana's St. Joseph County.
Lake Michigan College is based in Benton Harbor, Mich.