The Oil and Marcellus Industry is Looking for Trained Welders

As the oil and Marcellus industry grows and new plants are being built, like the $6 billion Shell Ethane Cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County, PA, the demand for trained welders is steadily growing in our area. According to CareerLink, it is estimated that Shell will need to hire roughly 3,000-4,000 welders during the construction of the plant in Beaver County. Continue reading

PMI receives $150K grant to improve manufacturing training programs

Meadville Tribune – May 12, 2018 Reprint

Precision Manufacturing Institute will receive a $150,000 grant to improve its manufacturing training programs, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday.

The grant from the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career program will enable PMI to add more advanced trainings and place an additional focus on employability skills that prospective workers need to find a job in manufacturing.

“Our participation in the PA Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant program will enable PMI to provide the local economy with additional skill training identified by our Program Advisory Committees and local employers,” said Ed Petrunak, director of PMI. “The Department of Community and Economic Development was helpful and easy to work with throughout the entire application process and we appreciate their support.”

The grant will provide $150,000 to the Precision Manufacturing Institute to enhance and expand current curricula for CNC machinists, electro-mechanical technology and electric ARC welding.  The funding will also enable PMI to provide more advanced training for fourth- and fifth-axis CNC programming and operation, as well as automated conveyor system training in the electro-mechanical technology program.

The expanded curricula will specifically address crucial employability skills like interpersonal communication, teamwork, professionalism and resource management that regional manufacturers have identified as a need in applicants and recent hires. The program will draw applicants from Crawford, Erie, Warren, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Clarion counties to PMI’s 32,000-square-foot Bessemer Street facility. It is expected to provide 60 trainees with the technical and professional skills they need to enter the workforce.

“The purpose of the new Manufacturing PA initiative is to listen to our partners and employers in the manufacturing sector to identify their greatest areas of need, and then provide support that will address that need,” Wolf said. “This funding to the Precision Manufacturing Institute is a great example of how the private and public sectors can come together to strengthen the manufacturing workforce in Northwest Pennsylvania and help put workers on a path to success.”

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant is designed to provide funding for training programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as those with barriers, to gain the skills they need to gain employment in the manufacturing sector. Wolf recently announced additional Training-to-Career grants to the Manufacturers Research Center, the Greater Johnstown Career & Technical Center and Robert Morris University.

Get Hands-On Experience with Industry-Leading Machines at PMI

In order to get a job of any type, you’ve got to have knowledge and skill in the particular field or industry to which you are applying. And if you want to stand out from the other applicants, you’ve also got to have experience. But experience can be hard to come by if you’re new to the field, and it’s hard to get more of it if you don’t already have some to begin with. Continue reading

You Might Be an Electro-Mechanical Technician If…

Do you like to work with your hands? Are you good at building things like models, do-it-yourself kits, and puzzles? Have you ever taken something apart just to see how it works, or just to put it back together again?

Do your friends and family come to you whenever something needs fixed or assembled? Have your teachers or bosses praised your problem-solving skills and attention to detail? Are you a wiz at math, word searches, Sudoku, or those online candy-swapping games?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we have one more question for you: Did you know that your hobbies and talents could lead to a rewarding career in electro-mechanical technology?

Careers in Electro-Mechanical Technology

Electro-mechanical equipment is equipment comprised of both mechanical and electrical and/or electronic elements. It’s used in a wide variety of industries and is heavily used in manufacturing, production, and assembly plants, as well as on oilrigs and other water vessels.

Electro-Mechanical TechniciansThis type of equipment is very specialized and sensitive, and must be installed, operated, and maintained carefully, according to exacting standards… And that’s where electro-mechanical technicians come in!

Generally speaking, an electro-mechanical technician’s job involves working closely with electro-mechanical and automated equipment. More specifically, this means that, in addition to the broad duties mentioned above, the electro-mechanical technician is responsible for testing, calibrating, and maintaining such equipment and fixing any problems that may arise with it.

Electro-mechanical technicians work with small parts and run wiring. They crunch numbers and consider variables. When something goes wrong, they have to identify the issue, which can sometimes be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

In other words, a career in electro-mechanical technology isn’t easy, and, we’ll admit it, it isn’t for everyone. But for some people, it’s a great career choice.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s official 2016 Labor Statistics, electro-mechanical technicians, on average, earn an income upwards of $34,000 per year. That’s a pretty decent salary, especially if you’re willing to not only accept, but embrace, the challenges that come with the career.

So, are you ready, willing, and able to embrace the challenges of a career in electro-mechanical technology? Do you think you have what it takes?

Qualities of a Good Electro-Mechanical Technician

At PMI, we’ve found that men and women who possess certain qualities do exceptionally well in the field of electro-mechanical technology. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, key attributes include:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Patience and Persistence
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Innovation/Creativity


Now, think about all those questions we asked you at the beginning of this post—the ones about building models, fixing things for your friends, and doing Sudoku, etc. The skills you use to do those things demonstrate that you have the qualities listed above, which means that, chances are, you do have what it takes for a career in electro-mechanical technology.

Train for Your Career at PMI

PMI’s  Electro-Mechanical Technology Program provides students with quality education, training, and hands-on experience that prepares them for swift entry into the workforce. Our carefully-coordinated core curriculum will teach you the fundamentals of print reading, programmable logic controllers, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, electricity, maintenance welding, and much more and will allow you to use, and become familiar with, industrial, automated, and robotic equipment; and our excellent career services will help you find a job and achieve your career goals after graduation.

To learn more about the Electro-Mechanical Technology Program at PMI, or any of our other programs, please give us a call or schedule a tour of our facility. We’d be more than happy to chat with you to discuss how we can help turn your hobbies and talents into something even more personally—and financially—rewarding.

Shell’s Beaver County Cracker Plant Needs Welders

In November 2017, Shell Chemicals officially began construction of its newest ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County, PA. The $6 billion project is expected to be finished in 2021 and promises to bring hundreds of jobs to the area both before and after its completion—and one of those jobs could be yoursif you’ve got the right skills. Continue reading

Women in the Welding Industry

In the field of welding, available jobs tend to exceed the number of qualified people to fill them. In fact, welding ranked among one of the hardest-to-fill jobs in a recent IndustryWeek’s Salary survey. In those participating in the survey, 67 percent of respondents cite a struggle to fill a recent position due to the lack of candidates with the necessary skills, and 78 percent were concerned about their aging workforce. Continue reading