By Keith Gushard
In an effort to save money while putting the facility under the management of an experienced recruiter of technical education students, Meadville’s Precision Manufacturing Institute has established a management partnership with Rosedale Technical Institute of Pittsburgh.
The board of directors of PMI, a nonprofit technical training center that supports advancements in manufacturing, is expected to vote on the matter Wednesday, said Jon DeArment, chairman of PMI’s board.
Chuck Guiste, who had been director of PMI, has stepped down with the management agreement with Rosedale pending.
“PMI had been funded by the state, but for the last three years we’ve not gotten the subsidy,” DeArment said. “We’ve had to downsize where we can.”
Rob Smith, vice chairman of PMI’s board of directors, agreed.
“There are a lot of fixed costs with education and PMI is a small school,” Smith said. “Rosedale is a bigger training school and they are good it. It will allow PMI to stay in business.”
As a sister school, Rosedale will help to enhance PMI’s visibility as well as further develop current and new curricula. Students of both schools will benefit from a newly shared cache of resources and facilities. The partnership will help to meet the increasing demand for skilled tradespeople as American manufacturing grows, according to officials of both organizations.
“We want to build up the existing programs at PMI,” said Dennis Wilke, president and director of Rosedale. Wilke, a 1987 graduate of Meadville Area Senior High School, said the management agreement will be at no cost to PMI.
“There are a lot of technical jobs up and down western Pennsylvania,” Wilke said. “The growth is just there.”
One of the first steps Wilke said he wants to do is develop two-year degree technical programs for PMI.
DeArment called Rosedale a good fit for PMI.
“There will be good synergy with Rosedale,” DeArment said. “They’ll help develop programs with us and expand our offerings.”
Founded in 1987 as the National Institute of Flexible Manufacturing, PMI has been used by area employers to offer continuous training to their current employees. Employers also turn to PMI to train those new to the field upon graduation. PMI offers hands-on training in the high demand fields of CNC operator and machinist, mechatronics and welding. Students take advantage of state-of-the-art training equipment.
Formed more than 60 years ago, Rosedale Technical Institute offers training in automotive, diesel, electrical and HVAC technologies as well as in truck driving. Graduates of each of those programs are in extremely high demand as evidenced by their nearly 90 percent overall job placement rate, a representative of Rosedale said.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.