MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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10 MoldMaking Technology —— DECEMBER 2018 Profile Images courtesy of Franchino Mold and Engineering. How does Franchino Mold and Engineering (Franchino Mold) find and attract the next generation of moldmak- ing professionals? Brad Rusthoven, human resources man- ager: We have partnered with public schools and Michigan's vocational education program since 1962 to hire and provide training for qualified employees. When I was hired in 2010, the apprentice program had lapsed because of the slow economy, so that was one of my first directives—to get it going again. First, we re- registered our moldmaker and CNC machin- ing apprenticeship programs with the U.S. Department of Labor. Then we went back to using the curriculum we previously followed with Lansing Community College (LCC). To attract new employees, we first tried hiring people "off the street," meaning that we tried to find candidates who, without any background or foundational skills in manufacturing, at least had good attitudes, good work ethic and a willingness to show up on time and to learn 5867 Grand River Avenue Lansing, Michigan 517-321-5609 • Was founded in 1955 by Richard Franchino. Richard's son Robert is now owner and president. • Designs, engineers and manufactures medium- to large-sized die-cast dies and plastic injection molds for automotive to construction and consumer products. • Employs 90, with 25 under the age of 30 and an overall average age of 44. • Was named Employer of the Year in 2012 by Capital Area Michigan Works and Lansing Community College for its dedication to workforce development. • Was selected in 2015 as the site for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's press conference about the importance of skilled trades. Franchino Mold and Engineering starts apprentices in the moldmaking department where they can work with the end product either on mold and die assembly or repairs and learn the terminology, familiarize themselves with mold and die components and their functions and more. Here, from left, Moldmaking Apprentice Travis Dryer, Journeyman Die Welder Derek Wirth and Moldmaking Apprentice Cam Evans work together on a repair job. A Conversation with … Franchino Mold and Engineering the trade from our seasoned employees. That did not work as well as we had hoped, so we changed tactics. We contacted the four career centers located in the Lansing Metropolitan area because most high schools no longer offered shop class- es. I connected with the people involved with the machin- ing and engineering programs at those career centers and started to build relationships. I now serve on their advisory committees to help them develop their curricula. We host many tours with these career centers, and we attend their open houses and student showcases where participants or students in as early as eighth grade can walk through and see if anything appeals to them. The best part of these events is that usually the parents are with them, so we can speak with both about career opportunities in moldmaking. I am heav- ily involved with mock interviews and resume reviews at the career centers, too. As a result, we have a steady pipeline of candidates every year who are invited to come to Franchino Mold, test the waters and see if it is a fit for them. I still sell potential candidates on the fact that Franchino Mold represents the true, skilled trades. I tell them that moldmaking is more unique than production machining. Everything is custom. They would be more than button- pushers because they would actually use their heads to pro- gram tool paths and set up jobs. We are looking for the right attitude and work ethic, good attendance and trainability, of course, but also good problem-solvers. We want apprentices to grow with us personally and professionally.

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