South-Central PA Manufacturing Training Partnership (SCPMTP)

The South Central Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training Partnership (SCPMTP) is a multi-employer, multi-union labor-management partnership that focuses on the workforce needs of the metals and metal fabrication sub-cluster of advanced materials and diversified manufacturing. This sector is intensely competitive, in part due to overcapacity in the defense portion of the industry. Key initiatives include supporting plant modernization, enhancing career ladders within and between the participating companies and implementing best-practice recruitment and retention programs.

The 12 member firms are Harley-Davidson, Mittal Steel USA, BAE Systems, Voith Siemens Hydro, Glatfelter, General Dynamics, Acco Chain, York Label, Osram Sylvania, Worthington Steelpac, Tooling Technology, and True Temper Hardware. The six unions involved are the United Steel Workers (USW) Locals 1688, 7687, and 1303; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Lodges 175 and 1400; and the Teamsters. Other partners include the York Area Labor-Management Council, Capital Area Labor-Management Council, MANTEC and CareerLinks in four counties. The Partnership is governed by a steering committee composed of an equal number of employer and labor/hourly representatives drawn from the member companies and area labor-management councils.

History

In late 2004, representatives of labor and management met to consider applying for a $400,000.00 state training grant. The companies involved were Harley-Davidson, BAE Systems (formerly United Defense), Voith Siemens, and York International. Also attending the meeting was a union representative from the York Area Labor Management Council and a representative from Harrisburg Area Community College.

After the meeting, representatives from Mittal Steel and a management representative from the Capital Area Labor Management Council were invited to participate and the SCPMTP was formed. The SCPMTP, with the help of Keystone Research Center and the support of the South Central Workforce Investment Board (SCWIB) and MANTEC, sent a proposal to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for an Incumbent Worker Training Grant in December, 2004. The strategic plan for the disbursement of the grant was approved in May, 2005. The partnership that began with labor and management representatives from 4 firms and two labor-management councils has since grown to include the 12 firms and additional partners listed in the introductory section.

Goals

  • Responding to workforce development and workplace modernization needs at founding firms and other companies recruited to join the partnership.
  • Improving retention at founding firms and other companies through the diffusion of best practices in recruitment and retention.
  • Increasing opportunities for workers by strengthening career ladders within and between partnership companies.
  • Growing the partnership to increase its benefits and sustainability.

Activities

Assessment

The founding members of the partnership conducted an in-depth survey of each of their firms to assess their workforce development needs. This assessment revealed the importance of finding ways to ensure that the knowledge of an aging workforce is passed down to a new generation of workers, as well as a number of specific training needs. The needs of all four companies were so similar that the partnership felt secure in assuming other local companies were facing similar challenges.

Training

The partnership has delivered extensive training to incumbent workers at both member and non-member companies. Courses include various levels of welding classes, industrial maintenance classes, electric arc flash training, and electrical codes classes.

In addition, the partnership is sponsoring skills transfer training to better prepare experienced workers to pass down their knowledge to the next generation of workers.

Growing

The partnership is seeking to grow its membership base in order to increase the benefits and sustainability of the partnership. A coordinator conducts outreach to additional firms, explaining the partnership and learning about training needs. Making partnership-sponsored training available to non-members for a fee is one of the ways the partnership is making direct contact with new firms. In order to be accepted as a member of the partnership, a firm must pay at least $12/ hour and provide benefits. In addition to recruiting new firms, the partnership is working with local CareerLinks, economic development groups and Chambers of Commerce to promote its programs.

Funding

The partnership currently receives the bulk of its financial support from state grants. It also charges differential fees for training. Discussions are underway within the partnership to find a way to make the partnership self-sustaining over the long term.

Results

  • As of July 25, 2006, the partnership trained over 2000 incumbent workers in 13 different courses.
  • Management has reported that they have seen significant value coming out of the skill upgrading training sponsored by the partnership, which the companies would otherwise not have been able to afford to provide.
  • Since its founding, the number of firms participating in the partnership has grown from four to twelve.
  • Significant peer learning takes place as steering committee members from both labor and management meet at least once a month to discuss training needs, plan new classes, and monitor outreach efforts.
  • Greater access to skill upgrade training has increased workers’ ability to prepare for advancing into higher grades. In addition, the fact that all partner companies send workers to the same classes increases the portability of the skills acquired.

 

 

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If you are unable to attend our programs, contact us for on-site or off-site training. For more information call 717 852-0628