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

Celebrating 30 Years!

Established as the National Institute of Flexible Manufacturing
(NIFM) in 1987 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the institute was the
brainchild of Harold Corner – co-founder of C&J Industries – and
other local industry leaders who, simply put, wanted to upgrade their
employees’ skills. Then in the 1980’s and 90’s the manufacturing field
saw a shift from manual machining and non-computerized processes to
computer-based manufacturing, but many companies lacked the
resources or capital to train their employees with the new technical skills
or to take a risk in investing in the new technology. NIFM sought
solutions to overcome these obstacles: it’s two-fold goal was to train
incumbent workers in the new technical skills and offer “shared use”
machinery for companies to produce saleable parts while evaluating the
feasibility to adopt the advanced technologies. An ad in the Meadville
Tribune in 1990 summarized it this way: “We’re giving Meadville the
leading edge for tomorrow through advanced technology today!”. Continue reading

CNC Operating Safety Tips

Whether you are tinkering around with a small CNC machine in your personal workshop or your operating one professionally at a machine shop, the first rule of thumb is always safety first! CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, are machines that require a trained operator to avoid injury to themselves or those around them. From the hundreds of sharp and hard mechanical parts that make up these instruments to the small bits of dust and debris coming from the substrate being worked, any mishandling of either the machine or substrate could result in a workplace injury. This month, PMI takes a closer look at how to avoid injury by handling a CNC machine properly. Continue reading

Which States Pay the Most for CNC Machine Operators.

As some of America’s economy remains embedded in farming and manufacturing, other states are at the forefront of medical advancements, aeronautics and computer technology. As a CNC Machinist, or Operator, you can be a part of it all. Our economy strongly relies on Computer Numerical Control Machinists (CNC) because machinists are responsible for producing mechanical parts and tools made from metals, plastics or other materials. Continue reading

Employment through Education: Soft Skills for Better Employees

Many think learning the specific skills for a chooses profession is all you need to be successful in your workplace. If you want to become a chef you go to culinary school. If you want to become a welder, you go to welding school. While there are precise instructions, or hard skills, deemed necessary in order to be considered in either of these professions, there are other skills employers feel are just important.

These skills are called “soft skills” and many employers today agree new professionals are lacking them. This past October, with the help of the Crawford County READ program and the Crawford County Roundtable committee, PMI introduced students to the Employment Through Education course (ETE) to learn what soft skills are and why they are vital in the workplace.

What are Soft Skills?

While hard skills are skills that can be taught, soft skills are what many call “people skills”. They are defined as ways you relate or interact with management, coworkers, customers, and beyond. Here are few examples,

  • Time management
  • Accountability
  • Positive attitude
  • Good communications
  • Being a team player
  • Ability to accept and learn from criticism
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to multi-task

In the real world, a basic hard skill a chef-in-training will learn is how to sear a steak mid-rare for a customer without burning it. A soft-skill they’ll need to adopt is learning how to multi-task by making five other customs their food at the same time. As a beginner welder, you and your fellow welders will learn that one of the first things you do before starting a job is suiting up in protective gear for safety purposes. As you enter the welding profession, you’ll soon realize that simply showing up for work is just as vital. Being accountable, managing your time effectively and leaving your personal issues and preferences at home are all soft skills imperative to reaching your team’s target. Every welder is like a spoke in a wheel and each one has his or her own welding responsibly that makes the wheel turn. If you don’t show up for work or you can’t leave your personal issues or preferences out of the workplace, your whole team will falter.

Research indicates employers are in agreement that soft skills are lacking in today’s employees. For reasons such as safety purposes and reaching a target goal, the fabrications industry cannot run smoothly when employees lack soft skills.

To break down this barrier, PMI is adopting this special course to teach the following:

  • Ways of Thinking: Creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, learning, decision making
  • Ways of Working: Communication, collaboration, awareness, social networking, digital environment
  • Ways to Live in the World: Citizenship, life career, financial planning, personal and social responsibility

At PMI, through proper education we believe we will not only create job-ready welders, machinist and electro-mechanical technicians, but individuals whom are passionate about their job. If you’re interested in learning more about the ETE course or any of our courses, please call us 814-333-2415 or visit us online at

PMI – Explore Your New Career Today!

Electric Arc Welding: Your Future is Bright

Chicago Bridge & Iron Works Arc Welder Dan Stearns is a great example of how PMI can catapult you into a career of electric arc welding. A 2015 PMI Electric Arc Welding graduate, Dan began the PMI program following his graduation from Titusville Area High School. After high school he began working as a welder at RTI, a local steel caster maintenance manufacturer. There he received a slew of recommendations from colleagues suggesting he look in to a formal welding training program at PMI. And the rest, is history!

Why PMI?

If you ask Dan, he’d say the choice was a simple one. After visiting PMI, he was impressed by the facility, the faculty and the fact that he could earn his Electric Arc Welding Certificate in just 6 months. As a student of the Electric Arc Welding program you’ll learn the basics of the fitting and welding processes to help prepare you for a career in the field. Students also have the opportunity to participate in career planning activities including job searches, resume development and mock interviews. One of the bonuses of attending PMI is there are over 100 local and regional companies who look to PMI for new hires.

Post-Grad Opportunities.

Once Dan graduated from the Electric Arc Welding program at PMI, he started working at Cleveland, OH’s Boilermaker’s Local 744 and then sought out an opportunity at Chicago Bridge and Iron Works, or CB&I, where he works as a welder today. As an employee of an internationally renowned company like CB&I, Dan Stearn is experiencing a world of new people and places while he earns a lucrative wage doing a job he loves.

What does the future hold for Dan? “I just bought my first welder… in the future would like to own my own welding shop”.

So today, PMI ask our readers, “Where will your future take you”?