Educating the next generation workforce has become a primary concern for the plastics processing and moldmaking industries. It's evident by the conversations that take place at the various trade shows such as the SPE Thermoforming Conference held last week (Sept. 15-18), which caters to many students from various colleges and trade schools.
Christopher Gagliano, program and technical service manager for the Pennsylvania College of Technology's (PCT) Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, was in attendance with several students. The college has an extensive program that includes injection molding, blowmolding, extrusion, rotational molding and thermoforming. "We currently have a cut-sheet thermoformer and we're getting a MACC roll-fed machine put in place shortly," Gagliano said.
Gagliano noted the importance of machinery suppliers working with the technical colleges and trade schools to help supply the equipment needed to train the next generation workforce. "As many of the current older employees retire, a lot of knowledge will retire with them," he told PlasticsToday. "We need access to the latest equipment on which to train the students today so they can enter the workforce with the knowledge they need to succeed."