Community College in Alabama Adds Injection Molding Technician Certificate to Curriculum

Plastic Injection Molding is a rapidly growing field. There are already countless objects that are made via the process of plastic injection molding, and we are making newer components and products every single day that utilize this means of production. It is one of the largest methods of production throughout the world, and the manufacturing industries as a whole would be drastically different without plastic injection molding.

Certain products that we have come to rely on may not exist without plastic injection molding. With all of the growth in the plastics sector lately, and the importance of this method of production to the manufacturing industry as a whole, it is a wonder that plant managers are having a hard time filling up their staff to meet demands during this time of growth. In fact, many injection molders are saying that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to operate their machinery and to keep up with increased demand, especially from the auto market.

That is why one college in North Western Alabama is trying to get ahead of the curve, and prepare youth for a career in the plastics industry. Northwest-Shoals Community College, working together with local manufacturers to craft a curriculum that will produce more qualified workers to staff local injection molding facilities. When local plastic molders came to the school saying that they couldn’t find enough competent workers to staff their plants, and had positions for almost 400 new employees over the course of the next two years, they decided to work together and to put a curriculum on the fast track to implementation. Through concerted efforts, the curriculum has been designed to meet the specific needs of the plastics sector, and to train and prepare potential employees for a variety of different roles in the plastic molding process, including Injection mold setting, processing, 3D modeling, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, Robotic Programming, Programmable Logic Controllers, and any other basic knowledge that an employee might need to complete their duties successfully.

The curriculum, which will encompass 27 credit hours, can be completed in as little as three semesters including co-op work, and will grant graduates a certificate that implies qualification in many entry-level and advanced plastics oriented operations. This course is expected to help the local economy greatly by giving well-paying jobs to those that need them while helping to expand local businesses greatly, and to further their continued success and growth. This program is a novel idea that bands local businesses together with higher education, and could be the model for similar programs at many other vocational schools, community colleges, and other places of higher education.

Post time: 04-15-2017