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Can You Dig It

The benefits of on-site training

The course for the Mobile Manufacturing Lab, parked outside ATAS International, starts Aug. 15.
The course for the Mobile Manufacturing Lab, parked outside ATAS International, starts Aug. 15.

To advance in a career, training is critical.

With manufacturing, not only is there a strong need to upskill existing workers and find new ones to fill the pipeline, but this also has to be done while taking care of the customer, ensuring their products are made on time.

With only so many hours in the day, many manufacturers find it challenging to send employees to far-away spots for training that they know they need.

But now employers have the opportunity to get the training they need, a little closer to home through a mobile lab.

Mechanical/electrical maintenance workers are in high demand, and thanks to a partnership with two organizations and a local manufacturer, workers can get the training they need near the industrial hub of the Route 100 corridor of Lehigh County.

Manufacturers Resource Center of Hanover Township, Lehigh County, is teaming with Lehigh Carbon Community College in Schnecksville to offer a mobile manufacturing lab training program housed in a truck trailer parked at ATAS International, a manufacturer in Upper Macungie Township.

The 200-hour course combines online instruction with hands-on training in the mobile lab, beginning Aug. 15 and going through November.

The lab includes equipment used in the curriculum, such as AC/DC electrical systems, electrical motor control, electronic sensors and programmable controllers, all things manufacturers use every day.

In addition to hosting the mobile lab, ATAS will provide Wi-Fi and electric service for the program.

Dick Bus, president of ATAS, said MRC reached out to him to see if he was interested in hosting the mobile lab on-site. While his company gets the opportunity to send one of its employees through the training for free, Bus said ATAS is hosting the mobile lab because he wanted to bring more exposure to the training program.

“That’s why I put it in front of the building,” Bus said. “There is a shortage of skilled, technical people.”

His company has participated in Manufacturing Day for several years, as well as MRC’s “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing?” video contest each year, showing his support for manufacturing.

It’s possible that the mobile lab will soon find a new home at another company once November ends, but Bus said if he is asked to host it again, he would.

For more about the mobile manufacturing lab, see the story in our Aug. 7 print edition.



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