LMI hosts technical training through grantPosted: February 24, 2017
Written by Melissa Lehto, published by the L’Anse Sentinel
Like all businesses, L’Anse Manufacturing, Inc., (LMI) wants to be competitive in the workforce. For this small-town company, being competitive means keeping your employees up to date on the newest and most current manufacturing techniques available.
LMI has again submitted an application for and received a Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) grant, which was implemented in a class attended by 10 employees from LMI and 10 employees from other companies in the area on Jan. 10-11, 2017.
LMI serves a variety of industries, including medical, orthopedics, military, aviation, automotive, and light industrial applications. They can manufacture a wide range of materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, plastics, and bronze.
They also provide precision machining services to a variety of industries, including aerospace, defense, medical, and specialty markets.
To best serve these markets, where accuracy is critical, it is imperative that employees can read and interpret the drawing details as defined through geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T).
With the assistance of a $4,075 STTF training grant, LMI was able to bring a trainer to the Upper Peninsula and conduct a two-day training session. This allowed more of the company’s employees to participate than would otherwise be possible with training outside the area.
LMI also invited other companies in the area to participate in the two-day classroom training sessions, only having to purchase materials for the training.
The STTF awards grants to employers to assist in training, developing, and retaining current employees and individuals to be hired.
Training is customized to meet employee skill requirements and is short-term in duration, preferably less than three months, with no training extending more than six months.
The Talent Investment Agency (TIA) grants the funds to employers through Michigan’s worforce system, commonly known as Michigan Works!
Michigan Works! Agencies (MWA) Business Services staff conduct fact-finding sessions with employers to assess their talent skill gaps, suitable training providers, and availability of federal funding sources.
The MWA Business Services staff can then determine whether STTF grants would be appropriate to help close the skills gap. During the application period, MWA’s submit STTF applications to the TIA on behalf of their partnering employer.
The STTF grant provides competitive awards for employer responsive training that enhances talent, productivity, and employment retention while increasing the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s businesses.
The STTF ensures Michigan’s employers have the talent they need to compete and grow and individuals have the skills they need for in-demand jobs.
“We are glad to have the funds for training. With the training the employee’s receive, they have more knowledge. The more knowledge an employee has, the better compensation we are able to give them, and the more our business grows,” said President of LMI, Mark Massicotte.
Businesses who request funding must actively participate in the development of the training and must commit to retaining individuals at the completion of training. New jobs created as a result of training should be filled by individuals recruited with the assistance of the local MWA.
Training programs funded by the STTF must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by an eligible participating business. The classroom training must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by the industry, and leads to permanent full-time employment or continued permanent full-time employment.
A self-graded test was given in class to help participants gauge their understanding of the concepts. There were also many other exercises worked into the class to allow practice of the concepts. Certificates of completion were distributed after the class.
Among the attendees was Matt Wiesen, Production Manager at LMI.
“It was great to see our entire manufacturing team engaged in this training. The instructor was able to break down a very intimidating subject to a practical level that can be used daily by our team. The format allowed for real time questions which was valuable. Everyone participated during the class and our company is stronger now because of this training,” said Wiesen.
Having access to the advanced training provided through the STTF grant has dramatically enhanced the skill set of LMI’s current workforce and will allow them to remain competitive in the markets they serve and assist them as they further expand into the aerospace market.