Plant tour: Aeris Energy, Caucaia, Brazil – Jeff Sloan
In Northeast Brazil, wind blade manufacturer Aeris Energy is laser-focused on serving the domestic energy market, but it’s poised to expand to serve the entire world. In the process, it has developed operations and a workforce that makes it a standout in the region. More
Workforce Development – Evan Milberg
Over the past few years, many economic analysts have shown optimism toward the state of the composites industry, pointing to growth in a number of markets as proof businesses are on a solid trajectory. As we marvel at the wide array of innovative end uses for composites, it becomes easy to overlook the struggles that all of us in the industry face along the way. From materials engineers working in large global companies to smaller manufacturers, a common challenge is attracting, retaining and educating qualified employees – and how to get people interested in composites before they enter the workforce. Read how to overcome this obstacle in your company here.
At CAMX 2016, Dr. James Sherwood, the associate dean of engineering for graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, spread the word about the FIBERS (Facilitating Industry by Engineering Roadmapping and Science) roadmap various stakeholders in the industry created to identify a path forward for composites manufacturers, which included addressing workforce development issues.
Dr. Sherwood believes better education programs will raise awareness of composites.
“Right now, people are graduating from high school … [and] don’t even know what composites are,” said Sherwood. “We’ve got to make them aware of what composites are. We need education and training programs that are tailored to the needs of the region. For example, in New Hampshire we have Albany Engineered Composites making 3D-rated composites. There’s a community college that has an associates program right next door to that facility.”
During the student panel at the CAMX 2016 Closing Lunch, students enrolled in engineering and other programs at 4-year universities echoed this same sentiment. Panelists stated that, at the university level, focused degrees on composites and advanced materials are rare. Thomas Nanni, a student at the University of Miami said, “I think if universities focus more on exposing us [students] to all types of materials, it would push the drive and creativity of new incoming students.”
Additionally, “There are no national standards for accreditation,” said Sherwood. “We have ABET [the accreditation for engineering], [but] we don’t have one for composites. UMass Lowell is one of the two, I believe, two plastics engineering programs that are in the U.S. and those are ABET accredited. We need to do the same thing with composites.” The ACMA CCT program provides training to plant workers and also works with community colleges to deliver training. However, accreditation for engineers in the composites and advanced materials industry is not in place. Ultimately, Sherwood adds, it all comes down to money. “We need to work with the federal government to increase funding to train both engineers and technicians in the composites area,” said Sherwood. “
In addition to attracting future workers to the industry, companies need to provide a competitive place to work. The CAMX 2016 student panel provided some suggestions for employers to consider.
CAMX 2017 will offer programming on workforce development and building a knowledgeable and successful team. Additionally, the CAMX Virtual Career Fair, free of charge for all job seekers and CAMX attendee companies, connects CAMX job seekers with CAMX attendee companies looking to hire within the composites and advanced materials industry. Learn more and save the date for CAMX 2017. Registration opens in March 2017.
Submit Abstracts for CAMX by March 1
Be a part of the largest, most robust education conference program in the composites and advanced material industry. CAMX 2017 will showcase the best and brightest – make sure you’re in the spotlight. Submit an abstract by Wednesday, March 1.
CAMX is Growing and Growing…
In its third year, CAMX grew in size with 10% more attendees and more exhibit space. CAMX provides qualified leads and decision makers with buying power and attracts thousands of industry leaders, service providers, customers, and end-users to help grow your business and reach new markets. See CAMX by the numbers in the CAMX 2016 Post-Show Report.
Haven’t Attended CAMX? You’re Missing Out
Discover why 99% of attendees recommend CAMX. Check out the 2016 highlights to see what you missed.
Who’s Exhibiting at CAMX 2017?
Prime booth space is still available for CAMX 2017 – the largest composites and advanced materials event in North America – featuring 550+ exhibitors, innovators, and industry leaders. Showcase cutting-edge applications, materials, technology and industry best practices at the largest industry event in North America. View the 2017 Exhibitor Prospectus and reserve your booth space today.
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What are people saying about CAMX?
“Amazing Experience!” – Erin Mascarinas, RBC Aerospace Bearings
“CAMX 2016 provided us with an excellent venue to meet all of our existing customers, as well as an opportunity to enhance our brand image.” – Rob Klawonn, Toho Tenax America, Inc.
“The ultimate meeting of the minds.” – Robert Rambo, Cambro Manufacturing
“It was an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot [from] very attentive and kind people.” – Alfredo Montes Ramirez, Fine Tune and Technology
“What a great show! Plenty of interaction between the broad population that makes up composites.” – Blake Chenevert, Delphi Precision Imaging Corporation