The Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA) has announced the creation of a new training and development centre to address the skilled trades shortage.
“We are in the process of putting together a professional business plan so that we can approach governments to see if they can help fund our plans,” says Robert Cattle, CTMA’s executive director who announced the initiative at the recent Annual General Meeting in Ingersoll, ON, September 24. “We envision that the training centre will be accessible to all CTMA member companies so they can send students and, above all, [send] work for the students to learn from.”
The idea behind skills training centre is not new. Indeed, the idea stemmed from Mike Solz Sr., the founder of Valiant, whose company created the “Earn While You Learn” training program, an in-house 46-week condensed skills training program for CNC machine operators and programmers. Most importantly, apprentices were paid $12/hr during the training period. Since its inception six years ago, Valiant’s program has graduated 140 students.
“Valiant has fulfilled its need and does not need to train in large numbers…it is Mike Sr.’s wish that the CTMA take over the day to day running of the training centre and that we continue to give people an opportunity to learn a trade…we see this an opportunity to start something new for all of our industry,” says Cattle.
Cattle adds that CTMA is asking for financial support from its partners, including suppliers of tooling, materials and machine tools.
CTMA has already reached out to industry members in the Windsor area, where the training centre is located, and as of the end of September, it had received a total of $13,500.
“Our goal is to raise approximately $25,000 for this business plan..we envision area companies being able to send their overflow work to the training centre and it will be a win/win scenario. They will get great jobs done at a very reasonable rate and our students will learn on real jobs that must be done correctly,” says Cattle.