Machinery manufacturer Milacron LLC has teamed up with Salt Lake Community College, which has started a short-term intensive program to train inexperienced workers in injection molding.
Milacron donated a 55-ton Magna T Servo press to the school in Utah. The program includes two four-week sessions. The press “allows our students to train on top-of-the-line equipment and helps to create a more prepared local workforce,” said Alan Done, program manager for the community college's advanced composites and plastics injection technician training.
Salt Lake Community College has run a program on composites manufacturing for about five years.
Done said the school is well-placed to serve the Salt Lake City area. “In addition to training new hires for local businesses, we are also training military veterans involved in vocational rehabilitation following their military service, helping them transition back into the civilian workforce with a reasonable starting wage,” he said.
Mike Prachar, Milacron's vice president of marketing for global plastics machinery, said local colleges are a key for improved vocational education — a major national issue as manufacturers struggle to find good workers. “Community colleges have such a strong role in local communities for people that are looking at what to do for a career, and get hands-on experience,” he said.
Milacron continues to support its apprenticeship program with UC Clermont, the University of Cincinnati's regional college in Batavia. The program trains people to work at Milacron's machining operation in nearby Mount Orab, Ohio.
Prachar said he personally gets four or five phone calls a week from people interested in the program. That shows candidates are researching Milacron and the apprenticeship program, which began two years ago, he said.
Salt Lake City Community College now has there injection presses, with room for two more. The goal is to train up to 15 students every 18 weeks.
Milacron made the connection in Utah through Tom Brown, its vice president of sales for the western United States, according to Prachar.
Milacron continues to support the plastics engineering program at Penn State Erie.
In total, Milacron has more than 40 plastics machines in schools throughout the United States.