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The ongoing need for skilled workers and workforce development continues to be in the forefront of manufacturing headlines. In July, industry veteran Paulson Training Programs Inc. will move forward with its programs by hosting the first of many technical training classes in its new 9,000-square-foot facility located in Tampa, FL.

Clare Goldsberry

May 26, 2015

4 Min Read
Paulson Training announces new technical training facility and educational alliance for plastics industry

"The demand for more training, especially custom training, has increased exponentially," said Craig Paulson, President and co-founder of Paulson Training Programs. "We decided a dedicated training facility could better support our customers. They've been asking for more hands-on machine time in our Plastics Academy seminars. We listened, and we'll have four machines to start with at our new facility."

Titled the Paulson Plastics Academy Technical Center (Tech Center), the facility plans to have expert injection molding instructors leading certification courses with hands-on machine time, a QC lab, computer lab and multiple classrooms.

Craig Paulson added that while some of the machines Paulson Training plans to put into the facility will be state-of-the-art, fully instrumented molding machines, others will be more "real-world—the kind of machines our students will be going back to their plant to operate."

Mike Eikenberry, Senior Instructor, explained: "I've been Paulson's lead instructor for five years now, teaching around the country, and some facilities have machines and some do not. In order to get the real feel of how the plastic interacts with the machine, you really do need to include machine time in training. It makes all the difference."

The new Tech Center will hold small class sizes of 16 and include up to six computer stations in the computer lab that will offer Paulson's leading online courses as well as Paulson's state-of-the-art injection molding simulation technology. Four injection molding machines will be included in the large production area.

Courses and certification programs that will be taught at the Tech Center include ProMolder 1&2, Managing a Molding Plant, Molding Process - Setup Optimization and Data Driven Molding. A three-week-long intensive molding class for advanced learners is currently being developed and will be offered.

For more information about custom classes, visit www.PaulsonPlasticsAcademy.com.

In another announcement, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Penn College of Technology - Plastics Innovation and Resource Center (PIRC) and Paulson Training Programs have entered into a dynamic alliance to offer individuals, next-generation plastics professionals and companies in the plastics industry a solid resource for educational information, programs and certifications, all with the aim of promoting the plastics industry through research, education and application.

"Having this combination of a robust industry association, technical college and world-class professional training company is the trifecta of industry alliances," said Russell Broome, Managing Director of SPE. "We'll be able to offer individuals and companies everything they need to know to make the most of their career and business opportunities in the plastics industry."

Paulson and Penn College personnel agree and reiterated the fact that their substantial collective resources will serve as a single source for anyone looking to improve upon or learn more about the realm of plastics processing. With the challenge of finding skilled employees, as well as the shortage of new employees and the younger generation coming into the plastics industry, this new alliance will be working together to address these critical industry challenges.

Broome stated that the alliance with Penn College and Paulson Training is aimed squarely at the issue of finding skilled employees, "and fits with our strategy of getting the next generation of workers interested in plastics as a very lucrative and exciting career opportunity."

Paulson added that "working with SPE is a very exciting opportunity. We share a common interest in both training the current plastics workforce and reaching out to bring additional young people into the industry."

Paulson's piece of the alliance will be to supply training online and via CD and seminars through the Paulson Plastics Academy and ProMolder certification. Discounts are offered on new SPE memberships for individuals or companies purchasing Paulson products, and Paulson will absorb the SPE membership fee for students taking a Paulson training course.

The academic and certification piece comes from Penn College, which has acquired the North American rights to the Global Standards for Plastic Certification (GSPC); along with Paulson and SPE, it will be offering this certification to all plastics processors throughout North America. Hank White, Director of Penn College PIRC, said, "The GSPC program is designed to give employers the ability to know that the people they are hiring have met certain standards in knowledge and skills. On the employee side, having GSPC certification is a big plus on any resume of a prospective employee."

Both Paulson and Broome agree that the alignment of the three entities couldn't come at a more opportune time. "The economy is showing promising growth, especially in the domestic manufacturing sectors, causing more and more companies to look for key industry information, connections and qualified skilled people," said Broome.

For more information about SPE, visit www.4spe.org; for information about Pennsylvania College of Technology, visit www.pct.edu.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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