Workforce center staff have been learning how to use a new process-control testing device that allows them to assess how well a person can operate the controls behind pumps and tanks that deal with liquids in a manufacturing setting.
Robert Larson of Scientific Management Techniques, which makes the testing machines, said the device the college added simulates the kind of control processes that can typically be found in real-life factories, and people can be tested on how well they solve problems like water being pumped into a tank too fast.
Bre LaMountain, Cleveland State’s coordinator of workforce development, said trainers will begin testing people on the new device Monday.
She said the college now has five kinds of testing machines to train and test how well employees can do seven manufacturing tasks.
“You’re going to basically see how they can do the job,” LaMountain said. “I don’t think there is a better way to see ... other than to watch them work.”
Local companies interested in hiring people to fill technical positions can work with the college to train and test people on manufacturing skills.
In the past, the college has offered on-campus training classes in which individuals applying for jobs at one particular company were tested, and the best applicants were recommended for job interviews.
The workforce readiness center also trains existing employees a company may want to offer extra instruction. The training can be done at the college or at the work site.
The new process-control training device joins a collection of devices that tests participants on computer numeric control, programmable logic control, electrical skills assessment and mechanical skill assessment devices.
In addition to helping companies see how well their current and would-be employees can perform manufacturing tasks, LaMountain said being able to see how students do on a new type of test will help the college’s workforce staff ensure students are getting the best training.
“This helps us align our students with what the industry needs,” she said. “It helps us know what we need to teach.”
The college has already begun showing off the new testing equipment to employers who might be interested in giving their employees some extra training and testing.
On Friday, college officials and Larson showed Wacker Polysilicon America Vice President Dr. Konrad Bachhuber, who has been overseeing the continued construction of the company’s plant in Charleston, how the new machine worked.
LaMountain said other company representatives had expressed interest in seeing the new machine as well.