On February 18, Poly-Cast Inc. hosted a group of students from Portland Community College to take part in a tour and presentation about the skills and talents needed to work with manufacturing companies like Poly-Cast. The tour came about because of a partnership between Poly-Cast and Worksystems, Inc., a non-profit that provides resources to improve the quality of the workforce in the Portland metro area. Poly-Cast opened its doors to allow potential new employees (the students) a glimpse of the various opportunities available in modern manufacturing and to generate enthusiasm in manufacturing careers.
The students are currently enrolled in the Certified Production Technician Program at PCC Willow Creek and were eager to see a real world example of where their training will take them. The Certified Production Technician Program (CPT) certifies students to become skilled in manufacturing and production so they can successfully join the workforce and secure family-wage jobs.
Students were able to watch demonstrations of the plastics process by Poly-Cast’s experts including computer modeling software, CMM programming and a look inside one of the custom tools that Poly-Cast uses in production. The group ended the visit with a walkthrough of the production space led by Kim Tuckey, where they learned about Poly-Cast’s automation projects, what the operators and technicians do at Poly-Cast and about other jobs available in the plastics industry.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Dan Leedom, president of Poly-Cast. “The students are exposed to real-world opportunities in manufacturing and production and Poly-Cast is able to give back to the community. We are proud to foster relationships with these students – after all, they could be our future employees.”
As the economy continues to improve, more and more American companies want to “reshore” their production operations back to the states but are struggling to find skilled labor. This is due in large part to decades of offshoring American jobs and the toll it has had on the workforce. Combined with an increasing number of baby boomers reaching retirement age —manufacturing has been left with a troubling skills gap. Millennials are looking for work that offers a viable alternative to a four-year degree and tours like this one help exemplify the exciting and rewarding careers available in manufacturing. The CPT program at PCC enables students to receive the training necessary for today’s modern manufacturing jobs, which will allow them to secure jobs with local companies such as Poly-Cast.
“These students will be able to achieve success through manufacturing, earn serious wages and contribute to the community,” said Leedom.