Lincoln Electric Partners with RAMTEC to Close the Manufacturing Skills Gap
Lincoln Electric's new facility will meet the training needs of manufacturers while getting students excited about their career choice.
The Lincoln Electric Company (Cleveland, OH) partnered with the Tri-Rivers Career Center, Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University at Marion to provide robotic welding and fume removal systems for RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) located on the campus of the Tri-Rivers Career Center in Marion, Ohio. The new RAMTEC facility, considered the first of its kind in Ohio, is designed to bring industrial robotic and advanced manufacturing skills training to high school and adult students in the central Ohio area.
“We were very happy to provide our equipment to RAMTEC for this new center,” said Justin Percio, Lincoln Electric’s business manager of welding automation systems. “We understand that the skills gap is a serious concern that threatens our local economy, so we will continue to help manufacturing facilities and educators by providing solutions that can help engage, excite and attract skilled workers into the workforce.”
Manufacturing requires workers today to frequently adapt to changes, such as technology, regulatory standards and customer demands. The training center is not only getting students excited about manufacturing, but it’s also providing them with the skills they need in the workplace while utilizing advanced automation technology.
Chuck Speelman, Tri-Rivers superintendent, believes the center will benefit central Ohio. He hopes it will be an attraction for new businesses to locate to the area while also inviting students to enter into manufacturing careers.
According to a 2011 study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. public registers strong belief in the importance of manufacturing for the country’s economy, but when it comes to choosing manufacturing as a career choice, they place it near the bottom of the list.
“Finding a trained workforce is one of the biggest deciding factors for companies when looking to relocate to an area,” Speelman said. “We are offering this by creating knowledgeable and engaged workers.”
Lincoln Electric shares Speelman’s motivations. The company is helping to educate those interested in advanced manufacturing careers by offering several training classes of its own and assisting educators to provide training to others.
The company is helping RAMTEC to provide instruction on several types of advanced automation, including robotic welding with a fixed table System 1 and a part positioning System 5.
The VRTEX® 360 virtual reality welding training system assists students with developing their understanding of welding, as well as their technique. Additionally, a Circulator system is used for shop-wide weld fume control.
Tri-Rivers Career Center, Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University partnered with companies like Lincoln Electric to make RAMTEC a reality. The grand opening attracted senior representatives from the Ohio government, multiple manufacturing companies and various educators.