Mexico's federal government and the government of the heavily industrialized state of Mexico are investing up to $12.5 million to build the first stage of what they claim will be one of the most advanced centers of industrial engineering and design in the country.
Much of the center's activities will be concentrated on training engineers for the plastics processing industry, its director, Victor Lizardi Nieto, said March 23.
The absence of properly trained people is a serious problem for the plastics industry. There's an enormous scarcity, Lizardi said at a news conference at Plastimagen México 2010, held March 23-26 in Mexico City. As a consequence, he said, Mexico has only four or five mold manufacturers, for example, capable of meeting international standards.
In terms of qualified personnel, he said, the plastics industry is one of the least protected in Mexico.
Antonio Tajonar, director of technological development in the state of Mexico, described the center as the most ambitious project of its kind ever undertaken by Mexico's National Science and Technology Council, known as Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México), and its 27 regional subsidiaries. The center is set to be built in the municipality of Lerma, just west of Mexico City.
He said professionals already employed by Conacyt and its branches are being sent abroad to study for master's degrees and doctorates in preparation for the center's opening in late 2011.
According to Lizardi, the center will train about 30 professionals in plastics processing per year. Mexico, he said, has 3,500 plastics processing companies, of which about 60 percent are in the state of Mexico and Mexico City.
He said three or four institutions and about 10 universities in Mexico have courses in plastics processing.
Just over a third of the initial investment of $12.5 million will be used to buy 350,000 square feet of land on which the center will be built, Tajonar said. The rest will be spent on infrastructure and equipment.
We're concentrating on training staff already employed by Conacyt because, in this way, we're pretty sure they'll stay with us, he added.
In the past, we've invested money in sending people not employed by Conacyt to study abroad and when they've returned they left us and went into private industry.
Copyright 2010 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.