There must be something in the water in Vermont. Two well-known and successful Vermont injection molding companies, Mack Molding (Arlington) and GW Plastics (Bethel), have stepped up to the plate with training and education programs to help promote opportunities in the area's manufacturing industry. Like most molders and moldmakers throughout the United States, Mack and GW are acutely aware that they must do their part to ensure there is a steady supply of skilled workers.
In response to a growing regional and national skilled labor shortage, GW Plastics is proactively leading the way in workforce training, career development and community educational outreach through its innovative high school program. This month, GW Plastics celebrated the graduation of its second "School of Tech" class and proudly announced the steady growth of the program.
The School of Tech was started in 2015 after two years of planning with local, state and school officials. The semester-long program focuses on raising awareness among young people about careers in advanced manufacturing. "It is very difficult to find a high school shop class that provides relevant training for our industry," said Cathy Tempesta, GW Plastics' Director of Human Resources. "There are limited ways for students to become exposed to the world of manufacturing, so we launched our own ‘school' in order to make manufacturing attractive again."