Two El Paso, Texas, businesses ― custom injection molder Plastic Molding Technology Inc. and health care industry supplier Becton, Dickinson and Co. ― received skills development fund grants from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar presented checks of $216,523 to PMT and $335,925 to BD during a Nov. 21 event at El Paso Community College.
Eighty-one of PMT's 98 full-time employees are enrolled in the new training with tailored curricula and industry-specific college-faculty-taught courses ranging from injection molding and lean manufacturing to supervisory techniques and IQMS software skills. The training at PMT began Aug. 31 and will extend through August 2017.
“Manufacturing as a whole has struggled in recent years with a prevalent skills gap, especially in segments that require highly skilled labor like the plastics industry,” PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis said in a statement. “PMT is investing in the future and our people with the receipt of this grant.”
PMT manufactures precision-engineered plastic components with an annual volume of 150 million parts and is positioned to serve maquiladora plants in Mexico.
During the event, college President William Serrata and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser underscored the importance of helping companies such as PMT in developing their workforces to boost American manufacturing competitiveness.
Mary Sholtis, PMT training and development coordinator, worked closely with college staff to develop a curriculum to specifically address PMT's training needs. PMT pays employees for time spent in the classroom and will provide incremental pay increases for those who complete the program. In addition, an employee can earn continuing education credits.
The BD medical technology facility in El Paso employs 700 and was part of the firm's March 2015 acquisition of CareFusion Corp. for $12.54 billion. Publicly traded BD is based in Franklin Lakes, N.J.
In September 2015, the workforce commission announced the availability of $48.5 million in job-training funding. Since the program's inception in 1996, the commission says the grants have created or upgraded more than 329,000 jobs and have assisted more than 4,000 employers.