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Building a Skilled Plastics Processing Workforce – 3 Essential Elements

Having a successful plastics training program in your company ultimately comes down to making sure you do about 3 things right.

plastics trainingMany (actually most) of the injection molding, extrusion, blow molding companies we talk to are concerned not about whether our training works (it does). Their questions are more related to the implementation of the training in their plant. Most of them have not done formal training. It’s new territory for them and they want to get it right.

No one wants to be responsible for a failed training initiative, least of all us. So our advice is always the same “Get the basic parts working and the rest becomes easy”. Once people start seeing the results of training, momentum builds and eventually it becomes another piece of your production process. That is where you want to end up.

So what are these “basic parts”? Well, there are 3 main elements to having a successful training effort in any production environment every time. They are:

  1.  Frequency – Set up a regular training schedule and stick to it no matter what
  2.  Consistency – Everyone should be learning the same information appropriate to their responsibilities
  3.  Reinforcement – Track assessment scores during the actual training and measure key production metrics. Having this data will show progress and reinforce the value of the training. Seeing results has a very powerful effect on wanting to do more of the activity that brings those results.

Now there are elements within those 3 broad categories that do require systems to be set-up, schedules to be made and reporting procedures to be agreed up. And those are not trivial items. However, we have been training plastic processors since the 1970’s. We know how companies succeed with plastics training and how companies fail with their plastics training. If a company does not follow all of the above 3 guidelines first and foremost, the training will eventually fail.

What these 3 elements have in common is that, if followed, training can’t help but become part of your day-to-day production process. Far too many companies treat training as an “event”. It’s kind of like the annual ritual of people resolving to lose weight in the new year. The gyms are full in January and start emptying out in February.

Training is a process not an event. By following the 3 guidelines you will be embedding training into your production process. Stop doing any one of the 3 and training will start becoming disconnected from your production process and eventually come to a halt.

So how do you assure that your company implements training as a process?

The easiest way is to let a company like Paulson handle the administrative end. We can “train your trainer”. We do this every day. You are an injection molder, extruder, blow molder, etc. Becoming training experts is probably not one of the core activities you want to have to work on.

So let us do it for you. We will:

  1. Help you design a customized training program based on a thorough assessment of each of your employees’ current knowledge and skills.
  2. Set up a schedule for the training that does not interrupt production.
  3. Set up tracking to measure training progress (making adjustments where needed)
  4. Advise you on what production numbers to track to show that the training is having an impact
  5. Conduct periodic “fitness” exams to make sure the training stays on track.

For more information, call us 1-800-826-1901 or click here to submit a request.

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