In response to the increasing need for skilled injection molding manufacturing associates, Spartanburg Community College’s Corporate & Community Education division has started the first injection molding training program in South Carolina. To celebrate the new program and SCC’s equipment partnership with ENGEL, a global injection molding manufacturer, a ribbon-cutting event was held on Thursday, Oct. 1 at the College’s Tyger River Campus in Duncan.
Event speakers include Rhonda Johns, dean, SCC Corporate & Community Education; Dr. Michael Mikota, SCC president; John Heinrikson, ENGEL vice president sales south and west region. Additional guests include representatives from injection molding companies including Albis Plastics, Auriga Plastics, Cooper Standard, Core Molding, Drug Plastics & Glass Co, Mack Molding, Marchel Industries, Plygem, ProSet Plastics, Sonoco, Tool Technology Corp, Draxlmaier, Brose, Roechling and Grupo Antolin.
“This is an exciting launch for the College and for manufacturing companies in the Upstate that are in desperate need of trained and qualified employees to manage injection molding production,” explains Rhonda Johns, dean of SCC’s Corporate & Community Education division. “We have repeatedly heard from business leaders how difficult it is to find skilled new hires and train current employees in injection molding, so we have responded by creating this new program. Given that the closest injection molding program is in Tennessee, we are excited to offer this one-of-a-kind program and have the opportunity to work with manufacturers in South Carolina and neighboring states.”
“Today we can be proud to have the first injection molding training in South Carolina at Spartanburg Community College. We are happy that we have a partnership with Engel that supports the College and our students,” said, Dr. Michael Mikota, SCC president. “This new program is a hands-on tool that is the essence of what we want to do for our students – provide them with an opportunity to see a need, understand the need and go out in the workplace and be successful. Thank you to those that are here today to showcase what will be, what can be and what we will continue to do as a community college working together to progress and move forward.”
Melissa Schmitt, SCC’s CCE director of manufacturing & industrial solutions, explains that injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting molten material into a mold to form a part or product. Molten plastic resins are injected at extremely high temperatures and pressures, into specially machined molds to form everything from a bottle cap to a car bumper.
She adds, “This program is a great fit for our area since Upstate South Carolina is home to many injection molding manufacturers who make thermoplastic components for automobiles, consumer products, and a host of other items. And, given that over 26,000 South Carolinians are directly employed in the plastics processing industry, the program allows SCC to collaborate with local manufacturers and industry experts to better equip individuals seeking career opportunities or advancements in this important industry.”
SCC’s first injection molding program runs evenings from Oct. 26-Dec. 9 and is a 40-hour introductory class designed for individuals entering the profession. Students will learn how to make actual parts using a 500-ton Engel injection molding machine, which is used in many of today’s premier manufacturing companies. Key topics covered in SCC’s introductory class include:
• What are plastics
• Injection molding: the machine, personal protective equipment
• Safety in the plant
• Basic quality control, basic process troubleshooting
• Key industry terminology
Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn OSHA certification and continuing education credit units.
CCE’s future plans include offering intermediate and advanced classes in 2021 as well as customized courses for specific training and scheduling needs of individual companies.
For more information on the SCC Injection Molding Training Program, contact: Melissa Schmitt, SCC’s CCE director of manufacturing and industrial solutions at (864) 592-4382 or [email protected]. Course information is available online at: https://www.sccsc.edu/cce/ccee.php?id=XMFG-500