Erie, Pa., custom injection molder Plastikos Inc., and its sister company, mold-maker Micro Mold Co. Inc., are working closely with Central Tech High School's tool and die program.
The companies donated a 60-ton Demag injection press to the school, which is in the Erie City district. Also, Micro Mold's general manager, Ryan Katen, has worked with the Central Tech's tool room and teachers of injection molding.
Currently there are 35 students enrolled in Central Tech's manufacturing program. During their training, students gain experience in tool and die fabrication, precision machining and injection molding, among other aspects of the plastics industry.
Mark Mikolajczak, Central Tech's manufacturing instructor, said such industry support is important. “This is a growing industry. More and more jobs are opening up without enough people to supply jobs for tool and die makers. We are trying to feed the industry with more qualified students,” he said.