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Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, September/October 2015

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News pmpnews.com • Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News September/October 2015 12 "It is somewhat of a community service," says Buczynsky. "We know we may only hire a fraction of these apprentices, and we know it is a long term investment, however, eventually there will be a continuous crop of out- standing talent that can pick their own jobs." From advocating at the state capitol, to working with the local German- American Chamber, to going to local school systems, school boards, advisory committees, supporting robotics teams and different manufacturers' asso- ciations, Charlton says it also comes down to getting manufacturers to "push" other manufacturers to pro- mote AmSkills. What Buczynsky calls the "eye opener" was a trip in 2012 to Munich w i t h c o m m u n i t y l e a d e r s . O r g a - nized with the assistance of the Ger- man American Chamber, visits were arranged to large, medium, and small manufacturing companies and each one's supportive trade school. "Community and education lead- ers from our region observed students working alongside mentors, learning not only the trade but also the work ethic that is not being taught today in the United States," he says. "Ninety percent of the workforce comes from home-grown talent. You look at the curriculum they had. The students spent 70 percent in the industry, 30 percent at the Fachhochschule, or trade-based high school. When those visiting with Buczyn- sky from the United States saw it, "it kicked in," he says. One school super- intendent afterward went to Tallahas- see and secured the necessary funding from the state, he says. "There's a lot of community buy-in from the manufacturing community and they want to see it work," he says. "They're realizing they have to be a part of the solution." More than 1500 high school stu- dents—primarily sophomores, juniors, and seniors—in those three Florida counties have received outreach from AmSkills, say Buczynsky and Charl- ton. The two tend to focus on schools with students already in some sort of trade program and talk to the schools about implementing engineering academies. The first AmSkills summer ori- entation program finished on Aug. 7 with 39 students completing the program. The apprenticeship proper commences Sept. 28 and students who completed the summer program are currently being considered and selected by area manufacturing com- panies for three-and-a-half to four years commitment. Pharmaworks and AmSkills contin- ue outreach to manufacturing compa- nies in the region, including those in pharmaceutical packaging and medical device production, to sponsor the train- ing program. As of late July, Charlton said they have a couple of local medi- cal device manufacturers and one local pharmaceutical packaging company expressing interest in sponsorship. An area of growth within the man- ufacturing industry is mechatronics, Buczynsky notes. "It's a blend between mechanical and electronic knowledge," he says. "Look around to any type of packaging environment. It's a blend. We can't be training anymore for just one of those disciplines. Our most valuable employ- ees are the ones that have some sort of cross-training when they come on." For more information, visit http:// www.amskills.org and http://www. pharmaworks.com. — Matt Sanderson The American Manufacturing Skills Initiative is catching on with Florida high school students. Photo courtesy AmSkills. A n A m S k i l l s a p p r e n t i c e c o n d u c t i n g measurements. Photo courtesy AmSkills. "There's a lot of community buy-in from the manufacturing community, and they want to see it work," says Buczynsky.

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