11 months ago4 views
Matt Poischbeg from SEA-LECT Plastics was invited to speak at the annual Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference hosted by the Manufacturers Association of Plastic Processors. This year's conference was held in Indianapolis on Wednesday October 11th thru Friday October 13th, 2017. Matt participated in morning Quick-Fire session and in 2-afternoon breakout panel discussions on the topic of workforce development and the importance of apprenticeships.
Matt is the VP and General Manager of SEA-LECT Plastics in Everett Washington. He has been an advocate and leading spokesperson for apprenticeship education and developing a skilled workforce for the manufacturing industry and beyond.
Four years ago, Poischbeg was in dire need of a mold maker. After several months of traditional methods of recruiting, which yielded zero applicants, he decided it was time to train his own. As a young 16 year old growing up in Germany, Matt learned the value of apprenticeship training. "Apprenticeships are considered to be the backbone of the middle class in many countries. But, here in the United States, their value is totally underestimated. And that is a shame!"
Matt eventually partnered with the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) to help fill the need for skilled and trained manufacturing workers. "Unlike traditional job-training options, apprenticeships offer an education opportunity that leads directly into a high-skill occupation and career path". He enrolled one of SEA-LECT Plastics promising and committed employees in a five-year Tool & Die Maker apprenticeship program offered by AJAC (Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee). Working with AJAC has been extremely beneficial to SEA-LECT Plastics. Having been turned down by local community colleges, it was AJAC who saw the value in implementing additional training curriculum in the expanding advanced manufacturing sector. AJAC now offers a four-year Plastics Process Technician apprenticeship and SEA-LECT now has four workers enrolled in this program.
Workforce development and the implementation of apprenticeships is more important now than ever. Many manufacturers say their biggest challenge is finding skilled workers for their growing organizations and replacing retiring workers. "Our current workforce includes highly skilled workers who offer valuable knowledge and skills acquired through years of experience. We must help retiring employees to pass on that knowledge to the next generation before it is lost."