Arlington, VA: This week, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) announced that its skill standards for mechatronics have been included in the Competency Model Clearinghouse of the U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL). See the model by clicking here.
In its role as information broker, the Employment and Training Administration of US DOL developed the Competency Model Clearinghouse, a Web site that provides information about and access to industry competency models, tools to build competency models and career ladders/lattices, and a database of competency-based resources.
Mechatronics is the synergistic application of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering, and computer science to make useful products. It is a skill and knowledge set used by mechatronics engineering technicians to assure that the automation which drives modern manufacturing delivers its potential for higher productivity and output. Packaging is a multi-billion dollar a year industry which is at the heart of the production of consumer products such as food, pharmaceuticals, beverages, and other industries.
PMMI worked closely with the Mid-Atlantic Mechatronics Advisory Committee, the Center of Excellence in Packaging Operation, and the Industrial Maintenance Training Center of Pennsylvania to enumerate the standards and implement a corresponding curriculum with the cooperation of more than 35 companies in Berks and Lancaster County in southeastern Pennsylvania. This close collaboration of companies in the packaging industry uses a 350-hour non-credit training course which articulates to an Associates degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology at Reading Area Community College (see page 4) to keep a pipeline of skilled workers flowing for its local manufacturers.
A number of other schools from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina contributed to the development of the skill standards.
With the development of a Competency Model and the impending introduction of certified skill standards, PMMI hopes that curriculum developers around the country will develop more training and that schools around the country will adopt these standards to provide more training for this important career path.