The Weyerhaeuser employees represent five different plants from three company divisions in three different states. Curtis Desselles, an NSU instructor, is also participating.
“They are doing simulations of what takes place in the actual manufacturing settings to gain real knowledge for hands-on application of principles they are learning,” said Bob Edwards, maintenance/engineering manager at Weyerhaeuser-Dodson. “We are producing people who are doing more then just learning theoretical knowledge.”
The partnership could grow exponentially, Edwards said, and is part of the company’s “economic thinking” that will meet the needs of manufacturing jobs coming to Louisiana.
RS Instructor Gary Chandler of Norwood has more than 30 years experience in manufacturing and has been an instructor with RS since 2008. Precision maintenance, he said, corrects faults and maintains machine capabilities.
“We are showing them how to tweak the machines to make them run better and make them last longer,” Chandler said.
“This is just one way NSU is contributing to economic development in Louisiana,” said Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology. The initiative aligns with NSU’s efforts to match a trained workforce with high-paying jobs available in high tech manufacturing. Long-term, the program could create a hub of training for many high-tech manufacturers in partnership with NSU.
This week’s students completed training Aug. 15. The next session will be in October with employees representing nine Weyerhaeuser plants from five states.