Aaron Olivas
CENALTEQ Chihuaha Campus
View from the Top

Collaboration Spurs Specific Talent Development

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 11:22

Q: How does CENALTEC support the development of Chihuahua’s manufacturing capabilities?

A: CENALTEC has four divisions. The first works with manufacturers, the second with academic institutions, the third with the general public and the fourth with foundations. Approximately, 60 percent of our training programs are provided to academic institutions, 30 percent to local businesses and the remainder is available to the general public. We develop programs in partnership with local universities so that students can receive their theoretical education at their university and come to CENALTEC to learn how to use the required equipment. Many academic institutions do not have the necessary equipment so they send their students to us. The center works with Chihuahua Technological Institute (ITCh), Chihuahua Autonomous University (UACh) and Chihuahua Polytechnic University (UPTc), among many others.

CENALTEC trains students to enter the workforce so its courses are designed to be 20 percent theoretical and 80 percent practical. Our collaboration with universities results in fully rounded professionals who can easily join companies in the manufacturing sector. We also receive individual students interested in learning conventional machining and welding.

Q: How does CENALTEC’s collaboration with Chihuahua’s manufacturing companies address human capital needs?

A: It is extremely important that our instructors remain up to date on the latest technologies and processes so they can provide the training programs that companies need. The center’s close relationship with the state’s manufacturing companies allows it to fully understand their human capital requirements. We want to grow alongside these companies. Due to this collaboration, the center recognized a growing need for training in electro-mechanic maintenance and lean manufacturing, for instance. Companies also require employees who can correctly interpret design blueprints, an essential skill for machining.

The center adapts its capabilities to the needs of local companies by creating training programs tailored exclusively to each specific company. For the aerospace sector, CENALTEC provides training in aerostructures assembly, welding, mechanical maintenance, CNC machining, metrology and plastics transformation, including extrusion and injection. The center also trains in design using CATIA, NX, SolidWorks, AutoCAD and Mastercam software. Course demand varies according to the industry’s needs. For instance, not too long ago aerostructures was extremely popular. In 2017, our courses covered aerostructures, dimensioning, CNC machining and automation. We also provide training in the 5S methodology (sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain).

Q: What are the main challenges the state is facing in terms of human capital?

A: Chihuahua’s capabilities in advanced manufacturing have progressed rapidly but to continue growing the state needs more software training, especially in LabVIEW. We are not providing training for this software but we are developing these capabilities. While there is sufficient human capital in the city, many employees are no longer willing to continue working as operators because they want skilled and betterpayed jobs. CENALTEC supports companies that require nonqualified labor by providing essential training.

Q: Which programs is CENALTEC developing alongside local aerospace companies?

A: CENALTEC Chihuahua works with Tighitco, Zodiac Aerospace and Fokker. We will soon begin working with Bombardier. The center is approaching the local aerospace cluster to become part of the decision-making process, which will give us a better idea of the training programs that are required and the kind of infrastructure we need to develop. A close relationship with the companies in the cluster will allow us to improve our training courses by directly addressing their needs.