TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - As more skilled trades workers get ready to retire, there's is a serious shortage of those workers in the manufacturing sector. A local program is working to help fill the gap. Its called the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. It's at The University of Toledo's Scott Park Campus and it's a true partnership.
The center has been open for about a year. It's full of state-of-the-art equipment that helps give the students realistic training, and a good shot at a good job.
At 40-years-old, James Johnson is switching gears, "I've always been interested in putting together things and taking them apart." He's working to go from the health care field to manufacturing. James is part of an 8 month program. He'll finish in May, "I can make mistakes, but I learn quickly from them and I grow from that. I also like to try to help teach others. I think teaching helps you learn a lot faster."
James says the center is preparing him well for a new career, "They make sure you are prepared first and then they focus on who you should be interested in and who will be interested in you. They take steps to make sure you are talking to the right people."
The center is a collaboration between The University of Toledo, Terra State Community College, Northwest State Community College as well as other programs and schools.
David Conover is the Director of Custom Training Solutions Toledo for Northwest State Community College, "This program is the result of businesses asking for this type of training."
It's a state-of-the art facility with $1.5 Million dollars of equipment,."This is how a modern, manufacturing plant looks. It is all about automation. It is not like the old days where you could walk in off the street and put a square peg in a square hole. Workers have to understand quality, safety and manufacturing and machine processes."
The shortest program is 8 weeks and, "The longest program is 32 weeks long. The idea is to get somebody quick training to get a job .In addition to that, most programs carry college credit with them."
The auto industry is one of the manufacturing sectors most affected by the skilled trades shortage. Ray Wood is the President of UAW Local 14, the union that represents the workers at GM's Toledo Transmission plant,"There's a dire need for trades all over the country, so the possibility of landing a job after completing these programs is pretty high.These are good paying jobs with good benefits. They provide a great future, a great career, so we are promoting this skilled trades program 100%. It also gives us a place for people in our apprenticeship programs to train."
If you're interested in the programs, you can stop by the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center on The University of Toledo's Scott Park Campus or call (419) 267-1493. There is a fee for most of the programs, but financial help and grants are available.
We've posted a link.