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

Becoming a Metal Fabricator Through Welding Training

If you live in anywhere near Pittsburgh and Erie, PA or even Cleveland OH, you are witnessing firsthand how each city’s urban development and city planning teams are changing the landscapes and waterfronts of the areas around you. Acres of unused shorelines, suffering neighborhoods, and aging commercial areas are being transformed and revitalized into multi-purpose communities attracting residents and businesses to build up the region’s economy. Sounds like a lesson in community planning and urban design, doesn’t it?
Truth is, while the concepts may derive from residents and city planners, it’s the architects, draftsman and metal fabricators that make it all happen! This month, PMI focuses on the importance of metal fabricators, the welding industry and why now is the perfect time to consider a career in the field of welding!
What Does a Metal Fabricator Do?
Metal fabricators typically work for construction and manufacturing companies, cutting, shaping, positioning and aligning different types of metal that will then be used for structural framework, heating and cooling systems, exterior walls, roofs and more. A lucrative field, nearly every industry requires someone with a metal fabrication skillset. Here are just a few things they help produce:

  • Power plants and energy production
  • Residential and commercial development
  • Agricultural and food processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitals
  • Mass transportation
  • Air transportation
  • Automotive
  • Pollution control
  • Amusement parks and recreation
    …the list goes on!

As a metal fabricator it’s important to receive formal welding training at an accredited school so you can learn a series of welding techniques, take courses on blueprint reading and most importantly, understand industry safety standards. Other skills include mathematics, computer literacy and mechanical skills. As of 2015, the average salary for a metal fabricator is around $40,000, but your income can increase depending on your location and your skill level.
At PMI, you can become certified in our Electric Arc Welding Program and be on your way to a solid career with a great income and plenty of room for advancement. Located just north of Erie, and less than two hours from Cleveland, OH and Pittsburgh, PA, our Meadville, PA location is looking for students like you! Call us and schedule a visit at 814-333-2415.

Best Places for Welders to Work. Hint: Pennsylvania and Ohio Make the Cut!

If you are working towards earning your welding certificate, you may be wondering which states have the most opportunity for Certified Welders. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics reported there were 397,900 welders, cutters, solderers and brazers working successful jobs across the United States. And with innovation and technology found at every corner, it took some digging to figure out which of the Nifty Fifty present the best job opportunities for welders. This month, PMI presents a list of the top five states for welding jobs. You’ll be happy to know; two of the five states might be our own backyards! 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 https://www.pmionline.edu.

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”?


Electro-Mechanical Technology Professional Outlook

Electro-Mechanical Technicians have one of the most versatile jobs in their field. In a world of mechanics and robotics, nearly all industries require their knowledge and with an average annual salary of about $53,000, the career is quite an attractive one.
What do they do?


Electro-Mechanical Technicians are specialists in their field. They combine knowledge of motorized and powered technology with electronic circuits which make a machine or robot run automatically. With nearly every industry requiring automation, finding a career as an Electro-Mechanical Technician is promising.


Top 5 Industries in Pennsylvania


Per Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania boasts many industries and subsectors that look to employ Electro-Mechanical Technicians. This month, PMI takes a closer look at five industries putting Pennsylvania on the map for Electro-Mechanical Technicians careers.


Natural Gas

Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the entire country. The industry however stretches even further into other aspects of natural gas like heating, power and electricity. With natural gas, solar or wind power and electricity powering the nation’s economy, Electro-Mechanical Technicians are of popular demand.


Pennsylvania and manufacturing have gone hand in hand since Andrew Carnegie built the first steel mill along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, PA. And though the steel mills of yesterday have come and gone, it set the tone for all manufacturing industries born thereafter. Today, modern manufacturing in Pennsylvania consists of computer and electronic production, metal fabrication, chemical manufacturing, the creation and advancements in medical devices, and machinery.



Agribusiness companies are huge in Pennsylvania. We are a major producer of dairy, produce, livestock and lumber. Economic statistics completed in 2015 state that manufactured food came in at an incredible $38.4 billion making us the sixth largest food manufacture in the U.S. while we also produced almost one-tenth of our country’s lumber. With $2.2 billion in agricultural exports and over 170K employees supporting Agribusiness in Pennsylvania, look no further for a career as an Electro-Mechanical Technician in one of the many Agribusiness sectors.


Life Sciences
Pennsylvania is known all over the world for advancements in medicine and medical technology. With cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia leading the charge on Cancer and Alzheimer’s research, comes the need for medical equipment and state-of-the-art laboratories. With over 77K employees in the Life Sciences field, you too can be a part of this most necessary cause.


With the production of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) like ethane and propane, came the production of plastics. Since the birth of the Plastics Industry, Pennsylvania has become a major competitor to other producers found in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada and Middle East. Thanks to the shale that is found in PA, the production of NGLs are forecasted to increase by 40% by 2030. Think of all the possibilities in specialized plastic engineering and technology!


Overall, the outlook for an Electro-Mechanical Technicians is great! Visit Precision Manufacturing Institute online or call 814-333-2415 to learn more about and exciting career in Electro-Mechanical Technology today!