Manufacturing skills: Everything under the umbrella is in demand

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By Juanice Gray

jgray@natchitochestimes.com

NOTE: Videos of the event will be in a separate post due to size constraints.

When you think of manufacturing, you might think of steel mills that make beams, paper mills that make different types of paper or places that build doors or windows, and you would be correct. Partly. Manufacturing is a much broader spectrum that creates and drives its own workforce. A manufacturer is someone who takes raw materials and turns them into something more. There is an increasing need for skilled workers to meet the needs of these manufacturers and Central Louisiana Community Technical College (CLTCC) is adapting and improving their programs to get their students work ready. Their advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) program utilizes “the insertion of new technology, improved processes and management methods to improve the manufacturing of products.” They offer dual enrollment while in high school, a six-month certificate program and a two-year technical degree. Those credits transfer to a four-year university like Northwestern State University. CLTCC recently hosted a manufacturing open house to highlight their programs and give local manufacturers like RoyOMartin, International Paper, Gilchrist and others an opportunity to meet potential employees.

The AMT program is under the manufacturing umbrella that provides workforce ready graduates or certificate holders in areas including hydraulics, pneumatics, millwrights, industrial instruments, welding, electrician, robotics and animation among others. We have a little bit of everything, to complete all the little things,”said instructor Gabriel McDaniel. At the open house displays showed how boards were wired from a schematic, how circuit boards and motors were wired, how an assembly line operates and how technology is used to create everything from a program designed to use air pressure (pneumatics) to life a 2 ounce disc to utilizing a computer program to transfer water from one holding tank to another. CLTCC Dean Laurie Morrow and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio are working together to provide the best education possible for all students.

The open house created an opportunity for educators, the public, students and industry leaders meet the future of the local workforce.