A new collaborative, involving Ox Engineered Products, American Axle and X-L Machine, formed last year in order to offer a “Manufacturing Principles” class beneficial to all.
“Through combined efforts, we were able to offer the training more cost effectively,” said Paul Aivars, director of business outreach and services. “This wouldn’t have been possible for each company to take on individually.”
Since then, several information sessions were held in the fall with Michigan Works! Southwest, Glen Oaks Community College, Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce and St. Joseph County businesses to expand this collaborative effort. Interest from other companies has grown as new partners saw the advantage of networking to provide common training courses to meet each company’s needs.
The purpose of the collaborative is for St. Joseph County manufacturers to maintain a skilled workforce that will choose to remain in the area. All the companies are under constant pressure to produce cost effective products to be able to compete in both the domestic and global markets. In the face of this competition the companies continue to look for ways to improve internal operations, thus the need for further training.
The stakeholders of the collaborative are Armstrong International, Burr Oak Tool, X-Machine, Ox-Engineered Products, American Axle, Dock Foundry Co. (Metal Technologies) and Kadant Johnson. Various courses will be offered including: Manufacturing Principles, Supervision, GD&T, Blueprint Reading, 8-D Problem Solving, Green Belt, Gauging/Calipers, Machining, ISO 9000-2015 and Project Management. The training will take place from March through July 2019.