The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is exiting the training business, outsourcing that task to injection molder Nypro Inc. in an initiative that both sides expect to improve the skills of workers already in the industry, speed workforce development and give SPI members the opportunity to take courses from Nypro anytime, anywhere.
Nypro University's global distance learning network currently includes certificate programs from Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The partnership will enable them to offer content that supports SPI's National Certification program, customized training across processes and associate degrees as well.
``It is a good opportunity,'' said SPI President and Chief Executive Officer William Carteaux. ``They have been committed to training for a long, long time. We don't want to be in training - that is the expertise of others.''
Jay Gude, president and CEO of medical device manufacturer Coeur Inc. in Lebanon, Tenn., and chairman of the board of governors of the National Certification in Plastics Program for SPI, echoed the sentiment: ``We don't need to be in training. It is our logical role to set the standards for the industry, provide the body of knowledge to support the standards and provide the testing for accreditation and certification. The collaboration brings together Nypro's training capabilities with the only validated accredited courses in the industry.''
Both Catherine Randazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer of SPI, and Barbara Darby, manager of workforce development at SPI, said the partnership should give Nypro and Washington-based SPI more leverage in obtaining training grants from federal and local governments. Randazzo said work was being completed on three grants - two of them at the federal level.
``We are looking for funding that will allow us to train more people and involve more partners'' in the training, she said.
In addition, the partnership will enable Nypro University to offer more courses to more people, using a greater variety of learning techniques.
``The partnership will give us a broader reach and additional opportunities for accredited courses and the ability to do it on our own,'' said Angelo F. Sabatalo, corporate director of organizational development and training at Clinton, Mass.-based Nypro. ``We are looking very broadly in terms of different course offerings and different vehicles to train people.''
Sabatalo said the partnership could lead to hands-on and CD training in addition to the current online and in-house training. About 55 percent of those taking the courses are Nypro employees. The rest are a combination of students and workers in countries from China to India to Saudi Arabia.
``We want to gear the training more toward the learner,'' Sabatalo said.
SPI's Darby agreed. ``We have to deliver the training in the ways the customer wants and to individuals seeking employment through local and state agencies so we can get more workers trained before they enter the workforce,'' she said.
``We are thrilled at this opportunity,'' said Ted Lapres, acting president of Nypro. ``It gives our training program more status and gives us the opportunity to work with a great organization and expand our universe'' of training.
``The more we can improve the knowledge and education of the industry, the better our industry becomes. This gives us the ability to spread the educational message further and to more people,'' he said.