Passaic County Technical Institute’s Visit to Convertech

Friday, May 19th was a great day at Convertech Inc. We had the pleasure of hosting Passaic County Technical Institute’s Manufacturing Technology Students.  Passaic County Technical Institute’s Manufacturing Technology program is one of the top manufacturing education programs in the state. Throughout their high school career, the students get hands on experience with the tools and equipment they will use once they graduate. And their program track gives them the opportunity to take their skills and knowledge to college or begin their career right after graduation. Convertech was excited to have the opportunity to educate and inspire these students to continue their manufacturing career path.

The Passaic County Technical Institute students and faculty were led on a tour of the facility by Convertech owner Larry Taitel and one of Convertech’s machinist, Angel Montiel. The students were taken behind the scenes to experience the day to day operation of Convertech’s machine shop. At the end of the tour, you could tell the students enjoyed their time and Convertech was grateful that the program was able to take time out of their day to visit the shop.

Convertech is an advocate for manufacturing education and is always willing to open their doors to manufacturing students to help. To inquire about scheduling a visit for your manufacturing program, please email admin@convertech.com.

Manufacturing Apprenticeships to Benefit New Jersey

manufacturing apprenticeshipsIn any successful business, after a demand is established from the consumer, you cannot increase revenue without increasing production. It’s a simple relation of the law of supply and demand. But it can be difficult to increase production without an influx of skilled employees, which can be the case in the manufacturing industry. An effective way to resolve this matter is through manufacturing apprenticeships.

Manufacturing apprenticeships give students and future employees a learning experience inside the trade; it acts as a paid training program. Max Daetwyler Corp. was recently featured in an article on TechTarget’s website for participating with 5 other North Carolina Manufacturers in a program called Apprenticeship 2000. This program is “a four-year program of community college classes in mechatronics and advanced manufacturing coupled with paid worksite apprenticeships”. What makes this program stand out above other manufacturing apprenticeships is that they have an extended eight-month interview process where students attend an open house and an orientation to be evaluated on their skill level. After review, the accepted students will participate in the six-week summer trial period and if qualified, will be offered the apprenticeship. It is a long process but it insures that the program is a good fit for the students and that the students are a good fit for the program.

Apprenticeship 2000, as well as other manufacturing apprenticeships, bring great opportunities for companies; especially for those looking to hire more skilled employees and expand their company. Once manufacturers in New Jersey have established a registered apprenticeship program, the sponsoring companies would be able to hire skilled employees that they personally train on their equipment and machines. And students will have more incentive to not only continue with the trade post-graduation, but inspire students to enroll in manufacturing programs. New Jersey manufacturing could highly benefit from programs like these.

Passaic County Technical Institute Leads The Way With Their Manufacturing Technology Program

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Passaic County Technical Institute’s Manufacturing Technology Machine Shop

In the state of New Jersey, once students are at the high school age, they have the opportunity to begin their career path by enrolling in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school. At the CTE high schools, along with the core high school curriculum, students learn a specific trade, like manufacturing technology. Unfortunately, manufacturing programs are not offered statewide. Manufacturing Technology programs should be implemented throughout New Jersey CTE high schools because there is a high demand for jobs in the field and many opportunities for students post-graduation.

Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, New Jersey, for example, has an exemplary Manufacturing Technology program for students interested in a career in the manufacturing industry. Every year, out of numerous applicants, only 18 are accepted into the program. With the smaller class size and the program’s two certified educators, the students have a more individualized learning environment. And the students have access to technology and machines that are used in the field, giving them more exposure and training with the equipment they will be using once they graduate.

During their first year in the program, the students will learn the responsibilities of a job in the manufacturing field and get hands on experience with the tools. Their second year is where they begin to work with the manual milling and lathe machines. By giving them the experience with the manual machines first, the students gain a better understanding of how the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines operate and function when they work with them during their third year. In their final year, the students will continue to work with the CNC machines and also participate in Co-Op programs, where they work in the field while they are still in school. The four year Manufacturing Technology program gives students the knowledge to be able to make products and practical designs; an experience they can build upon.

During their time in the Manufacturing program, students have also had the opportunity to work on professional projects before they graduate. Through the Passaic County Technical Institute’s partnership with High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH), students were able to design and prototype projects using materials, equipment, and mentoring from NASA. As stated in a press release, “Manufacturing Technology students were tasked with the challenge of utilizing their skills to lathe a screw sleeve for a stowage locker for the International Space Station – one of fifty-one parts manufactured directly by students of the HUNCH program.” To read more about the opportunities this partnership brings to Passaic County Technical Students, please visit https://www.nasahunch.com/2016/03/pcti-students-partner-with-nasa-hunch-program/.

The Manufacturing program at Passaic County Technical Institute gives students a foundation to take wherever they would like to go. Once they complete the program, students can begin working right away since they now have the knowledge and training experience with the tools and machines. If they would like to continue their education, they have the opportunity to go to a community college and pursue an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Or they also have the option to continue their education further and can pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. Passaic County Technical Institute is just the beginning.

Passaic County Technical Institute offers an exclusive Manufacturing Technology Program that gives students the familiarity and experience with the different types of equipment in the manufacturing field. Having a Manufacturing Technology program like the one at Passaic County Technical Institute incorporated into CTE high schools statewide would be beneficial. A career in manufacturing technology is one filled with opportunities and is important work that all students should have the opportunity to pursue.

To learn more about Passaic County Technical Institute, visit their website https://www.pcti.tec.nj.us/

Meeting with the Morris County Economic Development Corporation

Morris County ManufacturingOn December 6th, Convertech Inc. attended a meeting with representatives from The Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC).  The MCEDC is a division of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce focused on helping Morris County business “navigate the maze of commercial, industrial and governmental regulation” and “help build successes, quickly and efficiently”, as stated on their website. The group came together to engage in a discussion on how to expand the manufacturing education programs in Morris County. By expanding and introducing manufacturing programs in schools in Morris County, Convertech Inc. as well as other manufacturing companies in the area will be able to hire more qualified employees, expand their shops, and increase production.

There are many students enrolled in manufacturing programs statewide. But there are more manufacturing opportunities in other counties than there are in Morris County. Passaic County’s CTE School has a manufacturing program designed for students to work with different manufacturing tools and equipment. The program gives students the experience needed to work in the multiple aspects of the manufacturing industry. Morris County’s CTE school has an Engineering Design and Advanced Manufacturing program that was developed in 2015. However, the program is a two-year course taken at the County College of Morris. As mentioned in an article on  County College of Morris’s website, the students focus on “basic engineering graphics, computer-aided drafting, materials for engineering technology, technical computer applications, mechanical prototyping, and electricity and electronics”. This program is a great opportunity for students however the course is geared more towards engineering than manufacturing machinists.

It is very interesting that the counties do not have the same manufacturing education opportunities.  Especially since they have almost the same number of Manufacturing Firms in each county. According to the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, in 2015, Passaic had 850 firms and Morris had 812 firms.

There is less exposure of the manufacturing technology trade in Morris County’s education system, but Manufacturing is an important job. By pursuing manufacturing technology education, students can open the door to a career right after completing the program. And going to college is still an option for those students as well. Convertech Inc. looks forward to working with the MCEDC to help gain more exposure of the manufacturing technology within the Morris County education system.

For more information about the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, visit http://www.morriscountyedc.org/.

 

North Region TIP Hosts Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network Meeting

tip-2The support behind the manufacturing industry in New Jersey is ever-growing and was displayed at the Targeted Industry Partnership’s (TIP) Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network Meeting on December 8th. The North Region TIP, consisting of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren Counties, met to brainstorm ideas as to how the manufacturing industry in the North Region can continue to cultivate.

The North Region TIP has three main goals: develop entry level workers, increase qualified employees, and build capacity. Developing entry level workers begins during the education process. The education process helps students develop their skills so they are ready to begin working when they complete their program. With more manufacturing education opportunities, we can increase the number of trained potential employees. Therefore with more employees, manufacturing companies can continue to strive and evolve. These goals can be achieved when the counties work together.

The TIP is broken down into Regions and the North Region branches off into three committees. Each committee focuses on different areas for growth to achieve the TIP’s goals. The Evaluation/ Industry Needs Committee focuses on identifying the needs of manufacturers. The Pathway Development Committee focuses on working with educators of manufacturing programs to increase the education opportunities. And the Marketing Outreach Planning Committee focuses on reaching out to businesses and getting students and parents familiar with and interested in the manufacturing programs. The committees work towards their own goal and along the way they can overlap and work together to achieve the overall goals.

For more information or to get involved, visit http://careerconnections.nj.gov/.

Open Discussion With HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences

Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences Meeting 1Every year the HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences in Paterson, New Jersey invites business owners and employers from different trade fields to come to their school and have an open discussion with their educators. The business owners and employers in attendance were from an array of trades. The different trades included carpentry, manufacturing, construction, plumbing, property management, retail, electricity, and more. In hosting these meetings, the school hopes to get feedback about their current curriculum. They also hope to get suggestions for changes or additions that could be made to expand their students’ skill sets and in turn help their students get jobs and establish a career.

Throughout the discussion, although most of the attendees were of different trades, there were a lot of commonalities within their suggestions. One recommendation was the importance of “soft skills”. This is a relatively new term described as the important general habits that make a good employee; for example punctuality and attendance. The HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences’ educators implement these soft skills in their daily education. They teach them the importance of coming in on time, team building and more. The students also show their dedication to building good work habits by coming in early and staying late. The school is going beyond the curriculum by teaching the implied skills employers are looking for in their employees.Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences Meeting 2

Another commonality discussed was that many students may not know the potential for growth in the trades’ career paths. The attendees and the school’s educators were in agreement that it helps to hear about this from a secondary source. Last year, The HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences hosted a field trip to Convertech Inc. in Wharton, New Jersey. One of the Convertech Inc. machinists took the students on a tour around the shop and talked to them about his growth within Convertech Inc. and in the manufacturing industry. The school has also invited representatives from the different trade fields to speak with the students and they are hoping to continue this going forward. Outside of the classroom experiences are great for the students. They are also great for employers because they can directly speak with their potential employees about the jobs’ expectations.

Business owners cannot grow their company without skilled employees and The HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences is teaching their students the necessary skills for their students to build a career. The school is always adapting their programs to the needs of the field. They are open to implementing new programs as they did last year with the new Advanced Manufacturing/ Entry-Level CNC Program. The educators care about their students. They host these meetings to do everything they can to give their students a foundation to be successful in the future.

For more information about the HoHoKus School of Trade and Technical Sciences, visit their website http://www.eastwick.edu/.

 

Convertech Meets HoHokus Exec Board to Propose Expanded Machinist Program

Machinists at Convertech, Wharton, NJ.

Convertech president Larry Taitel met with Thomas Eastwick, the president of Eastwick College and the HoHoKus Schools, along with Eastwick’s executive board of the HoHoKus School of Trade, to discuss suggestions for an expansion of the school’s existing machining program. The meeting followed Convertech’s recent hiring of two HoHoKus graduates, who will join the company’s team of machinists.

“The applicants who’ve graduated from HoHoKus are far more impressive than our typical candidates,” said Taitel. “We’ve hired the school’s graduates before and have been very pleased with the results. Clearly, the school has a solid program in place.” Taitel has been leading a charge in New Jersey for better educational opportunities in the area of manufacturing. He proposed various additions to the school’s curriculum, which he believes will enhance the program and better prepare students for the many machining jobs that are available in the state and throughout the country.

“Mr. Taitel has some exciting ideas to improve our curriculum that we will be instituting as quickly as possible” said Eastwick. “Employers like Convertech are our most valuable source of knowledge.”

“Manufacturing jobs are plentiful and offer innumerable benefits including higher than average pay, job security, and job satisfaction,” said Taitel. “However, you can’t enter advanced manufacturing without first beginning in basic manufacturing. It all begins with the basics and lots of hands-on experience. Too few programs exist in our State for potential machinists, and the ones that are in place are in desperate need of additional hours.”

Taitel continues to reach out to NJ State elected officials, educators and industry groups to seek their support in bringing manufacturing curriculum back to New Jersey schools, which he explains is vital to The State of New Jersey, its manufacturers, and our students.

Since 1978, Convertech has designed, manufactured and delivered the industry’s highest-quality air shafts and chucks. All products are custom built at Convertech’s 40,000-sq.-ft. facility in Wharton, New Jersey.