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.