As the new school year ramps up, Crown Equipment Corporation is reaffirming its collaboration with the New Castle Career Center in New Castle, Indiana, to train and prepare future manufacturing workers with necessary high-tech skills.
Crown’s relationship with the New Castle Career Center began in 2014 when Shelley York, human resources manager, Crown Equipment, joined the Career Center’s advisory board. At that time, the Center’s Machining Program was looking for ways to enhance its training curriculum. One solution was an instructor-in-residence program with Crown Equipment where one of the company’s process technicians spends time each week at the center to share hands-on machining best practices.
“For a long while, industry was in the ‘outsource’ mode. Now we face a wave of retirements in the machinist trade, with fewer people to fill the spots,” said Greg Dickerson, instructor of the New Castle Career Center Machining Program. “We regularly get calls from machine shops around the region asking about qualified graduates. This program, along with involvement from companies like Crown, can help put students onto solid career tracks.”
Crown is also encouraging other companies to get involved in the mentoring program. For example, Acculube, which provides Crown manufacturing with comprehensive fluid management services, is supplying several products to the Career Center as part of its own community outreach efforts.
“Like Crown, Acculube emphasizes employee development and growth, and believes that community involvement plays a positive role in recruiting good employees,” said Acculube CEO Marilyn Kinne.
Crown’s involvement with the Career Center also includes an internship program that provides students an opportunity to gain experience working in Crown’s local manufacturing facility. As part of the program, interns are exposed to machining processes and also serve a rotation through the tool room. The first internship class featured four students who all secured full-time employment with Crown upon graduation.
York added, “Crown understands the importance of a skilled workforce. Relationships such as the one Crown and Acculube have with New Castle Career Center are valuable investments in the future of U.S. manufacturing that will help provide career opportunities and ensure manufacturing companies have the qualified workers they need.”
The New Castle Career Center offers 17 career-track programs for high school juniors and seniors, including graphic design, facility maintenance, computer operations, culinary arts and welding. The center’s machining program trains students on some of the industry’s most advanced computer numerical control (CNC) machinery and exposes them to precision machining, turning processes and milling processes.