Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Pilot Partnership to Help “Re-tool” the Industry and Retain Jobs in Michigan
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently entered into a partnership with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) to conduct a pilot program that includes helping train tool and die industry workers in new manufacturing methods.A recent study released by the MEDC suggests that workforce training is one of the key solutions to the challenges facing this threatened industry.
“The tool and die industry has traditionally been Michigan’s bread and butter,” said Jeff Mason, MEDC senior vice president of Public Affairs.“We can’t let this industry flounder because we didn’t assist these businesses in adapting to the rapidly changing marketplace.”
The MMTC, in a collaborative effort with the Coalition for the Advancement of Michigan Tooling Industries (CAMTI), the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and the Right Place program in Grand Rapids, will pilot a training program to help train workers in skills that improve productivity and reduce costs.Some of the training topics include technology utilization, synchronous workflow, true cost analysis and the standards of lean manufacturing.
“Michigan’s tooling sector has been hard hit by foreign competition, the economic slowdown and a changing business climate,” said Michael Coast, president, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center.“This pilot program offers shops real opportunities to improve their internal operation and to quote larger orders and gain new business through a new collaborative business model.”
The project will involve forming a partnership with two regional community colleges that will serve as training providers.A survey of the industry will then be conducted to determine companies interested in receiving training as part of this pilot program.Ultimately, 24 companies will be chosen to participate benefiting as many as 1,400 employees.Each company will be required to contribute to the cost of the training by matching funds provided by the MEDC.
Michigan leads the nation in the number of tooling firms and workers employed by this industry.In 2000, Michigan’s tool and die industry employed more than 30,400 workers in 1,099 establishments.Michigan lost 6.8 percent of its employees and 7.7 percent of its establishments in the tool and die industry between 1998 and 2000.
MMTC is an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (MEP) and is a 360 vu certified National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center.MEP is a national network of centers with 400 offices across the country and Puerto Rico that provide technical assistance and business support services to small and medium-size US manufacturers.The MEP program helps manufacturers adopt new technologies, processes, and business practices.Additional support for MMTC is provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.For More information on the MMTC, please visit the Web site at www.mmtc.org.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
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