NEPONSET — Martin Engineering in Neponset has partnered with the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), a training company that specializes in advanced manufacturing technologies. This will allow Martin Engineering to expand the knowledge, depth and training of current employees, ensuring that no talent gap is present when positions that require extensive training open up.
Martin Engineering’s tool and die department makes molds, jigs, and fixtures used throughout its manufacturing process and facility. Tool and die makers are required to have traditional skills in addition to vast digital skills, making the area difficult to master. Upon entering this field, immense training and experience is needed. So when seasoned employees decide it is time to move on/retire, Martin Engineering could be left with a hole that would take some time to fill. In efforts to keep its manufacturing process seamless and to encourage the Martin Engineering family to expand and grow in their trade, the company decided to look into an apprenticeship program.
An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related education in which workers learn the practical and theoretical facets of a highly-skilled occupation. RCBI organizes the program, with ToolingU providing the content. Martin Engineering took advantage of a nationwide grant RCBI has to help organize and facilitate the training.
According to Wikipedia, “a ‘journeyman’ is a skilled worker who has successfully completed an official apprenticeship qualification in a building trade or craft. He/she is considered competent and authorized to work in that field as a fully-qualified employee.” Martin Engineering has several employees who are journeyman candidates, and they will begin an extensive assessment. Those with pre-requisite qualifications will require a lesser degree of training. To complete the Department of Labor’s requirements for a certified journeyman, candidates must complete several online courses as well as track and fulfill a specified number of on-the-job training hours.
Steve Brody, current tool and die maker, will participate in this program to obtain his journeyman license. Due to Brody’s extensive experience, his training period will be reduced. Jacob McNamee has just been promoted to the role of tool and die apprentice. Over the next few years, he will study to earn his accreditation. Chuck Thumma, who became a tool and die journeyman in 1996, will help track the hours of training as well as provide training for McNamee as he learns his new role.