PMT Wins Grant to Tackle Workforce Training Challenges

PMT Wins Grant to Tackle Workforce Training Challenges

Plastic Molding Technology Inc. was awarded a Skills Development Fund Grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), boosting the company’s efforts to solve the shortage of skilled workers in both the plastics industry and in the El Paso-Juarez border region.

TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar presented PMT a $216,523 check on November 21 during the Skills Development Fund Grant Awards Announcement at the El Paso Community College Administrative Services Center.

The event included speeches from Chairman Alcantar; Dr. William Serrata, President of El Paso Community College (EPCC); and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser, each highlighting the importance of helping companies like PMT develop their workforce to keep a competitive edge in the American manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing as a whole has struggled in recent years with a prevalent skills gap, especially in segments that require highly skilled labor like the plastics industry,” said PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis. “PMT is investing in the future and our people with the receipt of this grant.”

“We are now part of the solution—fixing the training challenges we often talk about as negatively impacting the industry,” Sholtis said. “PMT is taking charge of training the next generation and developing our workforce. I’m proud to launch this grant in cooperation with our state, city and local community college.”

Eighty-one of the 98 full-time employees at PMT are enrolled in the new training, which comprises a tailored curriculum with industry-specific courses—from Injection Molding and Lean Manufacturing to Supervisory Techniques and IQMS software training. The on-site trainings began August 31, and is taught by EPCC faculty.

TWC selected EPCC as PMT’s customized training partner, and the company worked with the college to develop a curriculum to specifically address training needs. PMT pays employees for time spent in the classroom, and will provide incremental pay increases to each employee after successful program completion. Employees also earn Continuing Education credits for their coursework.

PMT’s focus on education and training is deep-rooted, stemming from founder Charles E. Sholtis’ work to establish Connecticut’s first state-funded plastics engineering apprenticeship program in the 1990s. The company’s core value of continuous improvement in all aspects of the business is reflected in pursuing and receiving this grant.

From inception to implementation, the Skills Development Fund Grant took two years to receive, and is the first phase of PMT’s renewed effort to provide on-the-job training. The grant is funded by the TWC, the state agency responsible for providing workforce development services to Texas employers. PMT credits Mary Sholtis, the company’s Training & Development Coordinator, for her efforts in helping secure the grant.