Paulson Training Programs Inc. is boosting its efforts to help the plastics industry find more skilled workers, entering an educational alliance, building a tech center and expanding its learning options.
Paulson, which is based in Chester, Conn., joined with the Society of Plastics Engineers and Penn College of Technology's Plastics Innovation and Resources Center to form a new educational alliance.
The group has identified “finding skilled employees” as a key industry challenge and it is an attempt to prepare the next generation of plastic professionals.
“Having this combination of a robust industry association, a technical college and a world-class professional training company is the trifecta of industry alliances. We'll be able to offer individuals and companies everything they need to know to make the most of their career and business opportunities in the plastics industry,” said Russell Broome, managing director of SPE, in a statement.
Paulson will supply the training through online, CD-based seminars through the Paulson Plastics Academy and ProMolder certification. It will also offer discounts on SPE membership for those buying Paulson products or taking Paulson courses.
“We're really excited — it is something we've talked about for about year,” said Craig Paulson president of Paulson Training, in a phone interview.
He said one of the missions of SPE is education, and that fits together with what Paulson and Penn College have worked to accomplish.
The academic certification will come from Penn College of Technology, which has North American rights to the global standards for plastic certification. It is based in Williamsport, Pa.
Paulson said his company's seminars over the past 10 years or so have focused on partnering with companies to provide classroom as well as hands-on training. Usually the hands-on portion would be done in a local facility or with an injection molding simulator.
“What we found over the last seven to 10 years was that the hands-on process was the most popular part of the seminars,” Paulson said.
He said demand for seminars is quite strong and that “if we continue at the same level we are at, we will be up 50 percent this year.”
Paulson's new 9,000 square foot tech center in Tampa, Fla., will include four molding machines, two classrooms, a computer lab and a quality control lab. It will get its initial test runs in late June and according to Paulson, should be running by September.
“We're hoping that it will be a real destination place,” he said.
Paulson noted that response to the announcement has been positive and that some companies want group learning sessions. He said that in cases where they have a large contingent from one company, they can tailor parts of the program to that individual company's needs.