Maine MEP Helps Local General Dynamics Facility with Talent Recruitment
M.O.S.T® program provides training in much-needed manufacturing sector
Saco, ME - The Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has assisted General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (GDATP) local facility in recruiting entry-level machine operators. The training from the Mobile Outreach Skills Training (M.O.S.T.) program allowed General Dynamics to find potential employees with the skills necessary to work in a very technical environment.
“We find often times the pool of applicants does not meet our criteria and we often have to compete with other manufacturers for employees,” said Chuck Bates, staff development manager at the General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products site in Saco. The facility is the company’s core production facility for multi-barreled aircraft and crew-served weapons systems.
Under the M.O.S.T. program, instructors from Maine MEP brought a mobile classroom and workshop to the facility to train potential employees in basic shop skills as well as in milling and turning. After the training, General Dynamics interviewed and ultimately hired from the pool of graduates who took this comprehensive, two-week course.
“There is a shortage in the number of people who can do this kind of work,” said Bob Doiron, project manager for Maine MEP. “We brought a mobile training facility to General Dynamics to teach entry-level employees the basic skills necessary to ensure high quality products and enhance employee retention.”
Candidates for the M.O.S.T. workforce training were selected with the help of the Saco Career Center. Most were displaced workers who had little previous experience in machining. Among those selected to receive training included a former family business owner, a social worker, a painter, and a recent military veteran.
The training was completed in two phases. Phase 1, conducted by the Maine MEP, consisted of 80 hours of classroom and computer-based training addressing basic machine shop skills. Phase 2, initiated after hire, was a 90 day on-the-job training program for machine operators managed by GDATP.
“We were very satisfied with the quality of the students that completed the M.O.S.T workforce training program,” said Bates. “I would highly recommend Maine MEP to other manufacturers based on their ability to deliver a quality program.”
About Maine MEP
Maine MEP is an affiliate of the NIST under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits, and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information on the Maine MEP program call 1-800-637-4634 or visit www.mainemep.org.