Converting Pioneer Joins NJ Dept. of Labor Efforts to Advance Manufacturing Credentials

Machinists at Convertech in Wharton, NJ.

The mounting need for workers capable of stepping into manufacturing jobs in New Jersey has prompted the State’s Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development (LWD) and NJ’s Talent Networks to partner in support of one of LWD’s highest priority projects: creation of a statewide Demand Credential List (DCL). Toward that end, Convertech Inc., the leading manufacturer of wide- and narrow-web shafts, was recently invited to participate in a Credentials Roundtable regarding employee qualifications for advanced manufacturing.

“There’s a clear need for manual experience before individuals can begin moving on to automated machinery,” explained Convertech president Larry Taitel. “Despite the fact that we’ve entered the Computer Age, where CAD and programming have hastened and refined machining processes, manufacturing requires workers to walk before they can run. We need to develop basic skills training in the area of machinists, tool and die, metal lathe, and so forth. These are the fundamentals that manufacturers require. Further, we need to develop training of core competencies and credentials.”

Taitel, whose company serves the printing, labeling and packaging industries, is a strong advocate of manufacturing apprenticeship programs, which he believes should start as early as 10th grade and conclude at the State College or County College level. Such a program, he says, would allow employers to offer genuine hands-on training to potential employees. “Imagine what a serious win-win this could be for everyone involved as we begin to build workers for manufacturing jobs,” he explains.

“I don’t believe college is appropriate for everyone,” says Taitel. “But to satisfy the ingrained notions many hold that college is indeed mandatory in this day and age, adding real-world skills to early academic training might prove eye-opening to both parents and students alike. Indeed, it may signal to many young people that a potential career in manufacturing—where jobs are currently plentiful—may hold highly desirable prospects.”

Convertech is the leading manufacturer of shafts and core holders for the converting industry. Located in Wharton, NJ, the company has been manufacturing high-quality products for the printing, labeling, and packaging industries since 1978 and was recently the recipient of a Commendation from the U.S. House of Representatives for its manufacturing innovations and years of service.