Training Shows and More

PMPA Training partner PMPA Training Partner Receives ISO Certification The Adult Career Center at Lorain County Joint Vocational School (Lorain, Ohio) recently received Quality ISO 9001: 2001 Site designation. The school has been partnering with the Precision Machined Products Association since 1988, offering the employees of companies within the industry continuing education programs in machining, tool setting and estimating. (See related story on CD training programs on page 18.


PMPA Training partner

PMPA Training Partner Receives ISO Certification

The Adult Career Center at Lorain County Joint Vocational School (Lorain, Ohio) recently received Quality ISO 9001: 2001 Site designation.

The school has been partnering with the Precision Machined Products Association since 1988, offering the employees of companies within the industry continuing education programs in machining, tool setting and estimating. (See related story on CD training programs on page 18.)

“Because of our close relationship with PMPA’s members and other businesses, it was important for us to earn ISO certification,” says Russ Beach, Lorain County JVS’s ISO lead auditor and coordinator. “It demonstrates our commitment to industry-based quality standards.

“Moreover, it affirms that the school is managing its customer satisfaction, quality and continuous improvement. Of the ten schools registered in the state of Ohio, we are only the sixth to receive certification,” Mr. Beach says.

“The dedication of Lorain JVS administration, faculty and students who took on the demanding task necessary for their school to become ISO certified shows their commitment to the precision-machined products industry,” says Larry Tasker, PMPA’s training facilitator.

David Holscott, director of business development at Lorain JVS, says the school pursued the ISO certification “to establish recognized quality standards” and to “use it as a management tool.” Although ISO certification is usually sought by manufacturers, especially those supplying the auto industry, Mr. Holscott says that because the school works so closely with PMPA membership, it made sense for Lorain JVS to become certified.

Training Programs

CDs Will Bring Training Programs To PMPA Members

Providing training and educational resources for members is one of the primary goals of PMPA’s Strategic Plan. But the cost to provide that continuing education can sometimes be an issue, especially in difficult economic times.

Instead of leading the horse to water, the PMPA, in conjunction with the Lorain (Ohio) County Joint Vocational School, has decided to bring the water to the horse. Early this year, the PMPA and the school are set to release a series of seven CDs that is based upon the 60-hour basic machine operation class taught by Walter Bandlow.

Championed by the PMPA Lake Erie District, the Lorain County Career Center has been offering the class for screw machine operators since 1988, says David Holscott, director of business development for the school. At that time, Mr. Bandlow joined the center’s faculty after spending 20 years as Acme Gridley’s training director. Mr. Bandlow, who still teaches today, also provides introductory and intermediate courses in operating the Acme Gridley screw machines.

“Everything that Lorain and PMPA have done has been hard copy,” says Larry Tasker, PMPA’s training facilitator. “The CD is the first project to take all that hard copy to computerized training media.”

60-Hour Course Offered In Seven Lessons

The Career Center has taken the 60-hour course and condensed it to seven CDs, one for each lesson. The program is interactive and will include testing for each lesson, as well as a “final” test. Sold as a package, the program will also include a set of manuals and teaching support materials.

The continuing education program started in 1988 was intended for Northeast Ohio screw machine operators, Mr. Holscott says. However, companies in Michigan, and as far as Indianapolis, have sent their employees to learn, not only the basics from Mr. Bandlow, but the more advanced training in tool setting and size adjustment topics of the intermediate class offered by the school. Indeed, he says companies as far as California have considered either sending their employees to the Oberlin, Ohio, school or bringing Mr. Bandlow to them. Cost, however, has always been a prohibitive factor.

To combat that issue, the PMPA and the school hit upon taking the course and transferring it to a CD set that could easily be taught to machine operators anywhere. “We haven’t pinpointed a cost for the CDs yet, but it will be reasonable,” Mr. Holscott says.

Metalworking programs similar to the one at Lorain are scattered throughout the metalworking regions of the country, Mr. Tasker says. A similar curriculum is offered in Waterbury, Connecticut, and he says the College of DuPage (Illinois), the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Area Technical College and Mount Hood Community College near Portland, Oregon, also offer similar training.

CD Program will Help Lower Training Costs

But the training courses can’t do the industry any good if they aren’t attended, Mr. Holscott says. “Generally, the industry and the companies support the programs, but attendance is cyclical in the sense that it follows the economy. When times are good, our enrollment is up,” he says. “It’s a much tougher sell when the economy is soft. We have to push a little harder for enrollment.”

The CD program should help combat that problem, Mr. Holscott notes.

Tentative plans call for the partners to expand the program to also include the two other classes the school offers precision-machined parts producers—tool setting and estimating.

“We’re offering the basic Acme Gridley course on the CD now, but we’re also planning to offer the tool setting class and the estimating class,” Mr. Holscott says. “We want to get this first one underway; then we’ll turn our attention to the other two.”