When GE Aviation announced its selection of Ellisville, Miss., for a new aircraft engine composite parts production facility, the Mississippi Polymer Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi and Jones County Junior College partnered to support the prestigious company’s hiring and workforce development needs.
A specific area of need identified by GE Aviation was composites workforce training because the Ellisville plant will produce advanced composite parts for GE’s world-class aircraft engines. Of critical importance is a safe work environment and ensuring the staff has a good working knowledge of the materials with which they work.
Owing to MPI’s composites and workforce training expertise, Ty Posey, MPI’s Workforce Development and Technical Leader, was tasked with developing two training courses: Intro to Composites, and Composites Structures, which includes hands-on training. MPI, JCJC and GE Aviation staff worked together throughout 2012 to develop the courses.
The Intro to Composites course is part of JCJC’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Certification, which includes training in business, lean manufacturing, safety, basic math, blue print reading, and team training. The Introduction to Composites course is designed specifically for GE Aviation and the process.
To date, MPI has conducted four Intro to Composites courses and one Composites Structures course. Student feedback has been overwhelming as the students value the hands-on activities and interactive nature of the training.
Both the Intro to Composites and Composites Structures courses are being taught at The Accelerator, where MPI is uniquely positioned to deliver this training owing to specialized on-site equipment, which includes a pilot-scale autoclave that allows bonding of composite materials. To do this type of training at the Ellisville facility would require GE Aviation to utilize their larger autoclaves that would require more energy, drive higher costs, and interrupt production.
MPI has worked with hundreds of Mississippi companies, trained thousands of Mississippi employees, and has a proven track record of success. This composites training complements our High School Polymer programs, which introduce students to composites.
For more information about the Mississippi Polymer Institute, call 601.266.4607 or visit: http://www.thepolymerinstitute.com/