SUGARCREEK, Ohio, March 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SUPERB President John Miller testified at the Statehouse before the Ohio House of Representatives Agriculture and Rural Development committee on March 15 about the importance of technical training. He focused on three points of public private training partnerships: what SUPERB has done, what Germany is doing, and what Ohio should do.
Miller challenged Ohio to raise the bar on training: "Without a significant investment in technical training, advanced manufacturing is just another political pipe dream that will go nowhere," John told the committee. "If Ohio is serious about a future in manufacturing then we must invest an equivalent amount in training to put us on par with Germany—that is $891 million per year."
He stated that the German public sector invests 5.4 billion Euros ($5.9b USD) and the private sector contributes another 7.7 billion Euros ($8.5b USD) to equip 500,000 technicians each year with the skillsets required to compete globally. This public private Vocational Education and Training partnership (GO:VET) is considered the gold standard for technical training investing approximately $29,000 per participant per year.
Miller related how he founded SUPERB Technical Institute (STI) in 2012 to meet SUPERB's growing technical training needs amidst a lack of programs for advanced manufacturing. Since 2012 STI has trained over 75 employees, certified 12 technicians to journeyman status, and credentialed 14 SUPERB technical experts as Ohio adult educators.
In 2015, SUPERB committed to increasing the scope and enhancing the standards for STI. SUPERB Technical Institute was established as a separate legal entity with some German ownership to facilitate bringing German trainers to STI to provide technical training. Currently STI employs two German technical trainers and others come on a rotating basis as needed.
Bringing the program up to German standards is an ongoing and expensive process. In 2016, SUPERB invested $175,000 in structured training and another $355,000 in on-the-job-training bringing its total training investment to $53,000 per participant for the year, which is 3.5% of SUPERB's annual revenue.
Testifying in Columbus along with Miller was STI Director of Bihler Training & Development Arthur Lorenz and STI Tool & Die Apprentice Lavern Miller. Arthur is a graduate of the German GO:VET program and certified by the German department of commerce to teach German tool making standards. Arthur described the German training process to the committee and how Bihler technology training has contributed to SUPERB manufacturing success.
Apprentice Lavern Miller testified how he participated in the STI and Bihler exchange program, which gave him the opportunity to go to Germany for a four month training program. He described the technical skills he learned during the program. Of particular interest was his demonstration of tooling he made during the program including his capstone project—a fully functional drilling machine he made start to finish.
Miller testified for over 30 minutes fielding questions from the committee including the obvious one: "Where do we get $891 million?" Miller recommended that Ohio consider reinvesting Ohio BWC's one billion dollar surplus into training.
After testifying to the committee, the group met with Jason Wilson, Director of the Governor's Office for Appalachia. After listening to a recap of the testimony to the committee and the need for advanced technical training, Wilson agreed to schedule an appointment with Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation.
SUPERB ended its day in Ohio's capital by meeting Ohio State Rep. Al Landis. After reviewing the previous testimony with the committee, Lavern Miller discussed his four-month apprenticeship at Bihler Germany and how it has helped with his current job at SUPERB. Lorenz spoke about life in America compared to Germany and joked with Landis that Ohio will never meet the high manufacturing standards of "Made in Germany." Rep. Landis disagreed and vowed that he would make Ohio better!
About SUPERB Technical Institute: SUPERB Technical Institute (STI) is qualified by the Ohio Apprenticeship Council and the U.S. Department of Labor to grant technical training certifications.
About SUPERB Industries, Inc.: Founded in 1986, SUPERB is a high volume producer of engineered plastic and metal components with affiliated operations in Walnut Creek, Ohio, a distribution center in Hong Kong, and technical support offices in Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio. SUPERB is also a strategic partner of Bihler and the Unimet Group.
For more information or to speak with John Miller, contact Ann Swinderman at 330.852.0500 firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE SUPERB Industries, Inc.