Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Center of Excellence works to fill the skills gap

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence

In June, I met with Alicia Booker, vice president of manufacturing, and Alethea Ganaway, program manager additive manufacturing & Ideation Station, of Cuyahoga Community College’s Workforce, Community and Economic Development division at the Metro Campus. Booker says, “We take a manufacturing systems approach and not a product approach. We don’t just focus occupationally on the need to fill a gap then three months later the need arises again due to churn.”

For this team, it’s all about workforce development and creating a skilled workforce. More than 3,500 students are attending the workforce programs, including youth, adults interested in a career transitions, students who already have a degree but are returning to upgrade skills, older adults interested in a second career, employees who need additional training for their current role, and job seekers interested in starting a career.

Booker moved to Ohio two years ago from Pennsylvania to accept the position. Ganaway was moved from Tri-C’s robotics program to additive manufacturing in order to write the grant to fund the program. Now, two years later, the fruits of their labor are paying off in the Manufacturing Center of Excellence (MCoE).

Booker says, “We offer a unique brand of training – short-term through two-year degree plus transfer opportunities. Classes are offered in environments that meet the needs of the students and customers — day, evening, weekend, and bootcamp formats, full- and part-time training, and now we can offer onsite training through the Citizens Bank Mobile Training Unit. Our programs are comprehensive, offering exploration and career exposure to students as young as eight years old through our Nuts & Bolts Academy, middle and high school visits (via the mobile unit), and our college credit plus K-12 initiative.”

This is what the impressively outfitted MCoE contains:Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence scanner

  1. A shop that houses CNC equipment
  2. An integrated systems line with Fanuc robots that launched in June 2017 (Students can become a certified production technician in eight weeks, including program automation, PLCs, and visual inspection for quality control.)
  3. A 3D printing lab that houses a Faro scanner and two printers that can print biomedical-grade devices
  4. A PLC training line with both Allen-Bradley and Siemens systems that launched In August 2017 (Students can earn an international certification for Siemens Mechatronics Systems, mainly used by European companies, since there are more than 400 German companies in northeast Ohio, while Allen-Bradley is more common in The United States. Some companies, such as Ford, use both systems in different portions of the plant. The training line includes a PLC station with hydraulic and pneumatic boards and a robotic arm.)
  5. A rover for virtual-reality training and integrated gaming
  6. A Fab Lab, a maker space for community and international collaboration (it houses a classroom; a Techno CNC router; an embroidery machine; a small mill for engraving, heat presses for T-shirts, hats and mugs; a laser engraver; and a vinyl cutter.)
  7. A mobile unit that can go to businesses, events and schools for teaching and demonstration opportunities in a nine-county area that launched in February 2017 (The trailer fits 10 students and instructors; is WiFi, laptop and software equipped; has its own generator; has plugs for different amperages; and can be deployed with electrical, welding, CNC, mechanics and 3D printing equipment. The lab already has been deployed to the 2017 IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Conference & Expo, a workforce summit, Crestwood Local Schools, and Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.)

According to Ganaway, “The Additive Manufacturing program includes not only 3D printing, but we teach students how to reverse engineer parts, 2D and 3D design, 3D scanning, inspection and other technologies related to additive manufacturing.  Additive manufacturing is not just related to manufacturing; it includes other disciplines, as well, such as medical.  Some of the projects include 3D printing prosthetics for veterans at the VA who are disabled.”

The college offers training by which students can earn college credits and industry certifications. In the welding training, they learn MIG, TIG, and stick welding. Right Skills Now affords students with CNC training in manual and automated machining. They train on Haas CNC mills and lathes, and on Bridgeport manual machines. The 3D/additive manufacturing training is in digital design, and students receive training in multiple 3D printing technologies, including the use of 3D printers, scanners, and other equipment available through the Ideation Station where they can work with a techno router, laser engraver, etc. In Mechatronics, students learn techniques in mechanical, electrical, computerization, and gain an understanding of how these systems work together. Finally, as a certified production technician, students are prepared to begin career opportunities in manufacturing and earn four industry certifications in areas of safety, manufacturing processes and production. This is a hybrid training program that includes training on the integrated systems training equipment to prepare them for occupations in material handling, assembly and production.

To stay connected to industry, the program has several advisory committees made up of industry professionals from the welding, machining, electrical, mechanical, 3D printing and transportation sectors. They also have specific employer-based programs, including First Energy, Swagelok and ArcelorMittal, who have advised the college on customized programs that lead to employment with their companies. Local businesses, such as Cleveland Job Corps, Cleveland Municipal School District, Towards Employment, Boys & Girls Club, Ohio Means Jobs, Ford, General Motors, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, NASA, Arconic, Charter Steel, and others, utilize the program’s services.

The program, says Booker, helps to meet the growing demand for a skilled workforce by “working to strengthen the region by supporting the existing efforts of our partners and by addressing the needs we hear from employers for a skilled workforce. We provide a quick response for new skills by developing new programs and training modalities. We also are working with schools and youth-serving organizations to enhance the talent pipeline that industry needs.” She continues by sharing that the most common challenge that she sees manufacturing facing is “the alignment of skills — commonly referred to as the skills gap. The impact of technology on the industry is also a challenge as industry works to keep up with the growth of technology, and we (as a training institution) work to keep up with the projected needs for skilled workers.”

Tri-C manufacturing center of excellence mechatronics

Cleveland Job Corps needs help starting a manufacturing technologies training program that will feed area manufacturers with a skilled workforce

HGR lathe

The WorkRoom Program Alliance, part of the Dan T. Moore Company, is partnering with Cleveland Job Corps, Coit Road, Cleveland, Ohio, to create a manufacturing center at the Job Corps facility in order to offer manufacturing technologies training. This is about workforce development and creating a skilled workforce, folks! Something that every manufacturer I know worries about: filling those vacancies with skilled labor.

Here is their needs list so that they can align with federal standards. As you can see from the list of equipment, this is a seriously valuable program for local manufacturing.

Can you or anyone you know help? HGR is checking its showroom to see what we have that would be suitable, but I’m sure other organizations in the area might be able to make an equipment or financial donation to get this program off the ground. Contact Gina at HGR if you can help: gtabasso@hgrinc.com.

Quantity Equipment
1 Comparator
1 Drill Press
1 Drill, Electric, Portable DWT
2 Gauge, Height RUT
1 Grinder, Bench, Electric
4 Grinder, Die, Pneumatic
3 Grinder, Die, Pneumatic
1 Grinder, Metal, Floor, Electric BAL
1 Grinder, Metal, Floor, Electric FALCON
1 Grinder, Metal, Universal SHOP FOX
1 Grinder, Portable, Electric DELTA
3 Grinder, Portable, Electric DUM
1 Grinder, Surface CHEV
1 Lathe, Computer Programmable
1 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Permanent
2 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Sliding Gap KIN
1 Lathe, Metal, Engine, Solid Bed ACR
1 Lathe, Metal, Engline, Permanent ACE
2 Lathe, Metal, Engline, Permanent JET
1 Machine, Bending CHI
1 Machine, Forming PEX
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable EMC
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable INT
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable TEC
1 Milling Machine, Computer Programmable TEC
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACE (1)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACE (2)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACR (1)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical ACR (2)
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical DAY
1 Milling Machine, Metal, Vertical FALCON
3 Plate, Surface, Stone
1 Router PTR CBL
2 Sander, Portable, Orbital SKIL
1 Saw, Circular, Portable, Electric DWT
1 Saw, Metal Cutting, Band WIL
1 Saw, Metal Cutting, Circular MIL
1 Saw, Reciprocating PTR
1 Sharpener, Drill Bits OTMT
1 Vacuum, Wet/Dry
   
 
Quantity Technology
1 Combination TV/VCR/DVD
1 SMART Board technology
1 3D Printer
15 Scientific calculators, such as TI-30xa
   
Quantity Furniture
12 Student Desks
12 Student Chairs
2 Student Computer Work Station
1 Instructor Desk
1 Instructor Chair
 
Quantity Hand Tools
  QA and Measuring Tools
10 Set of 1″ Mics, 6″ dial calipers and 6″ scale
1 6″ digital calipers
10 Metric scales
1 Gage blocks, 81 pc. Set, grade B
2 Surface plate, 18 x 24, lowest grade
1 Surface plate, 24 x 36″ with stand
2 Height gages, vernier
2 Height gages, 12″ dial
3 Angle plate
1 Plug gage set from .011 to .500″
5 Holder for plug gages, to make go/no-go gages
2 Machinist square
6 Combination square
10 Tape measures
5 Drop indicators with magnetic stand and 22 pc set of points
3 Vee blocks, set of 2
3 Test indicator set
3 Radius gages, set covers 1/32 to 1/2
1 Set of 5 micrometers covering range of 1″ to 6″
2 Thread gages for 1/4-20 UNC-2B, for NIMS benchwork project
1 Optical Comparator, 14″, new, with Fagor Digital Readout and cabinet, Suburban Tool
1 Stage center for Optical comparator, MV14-CTR
1 Estimated equipment shipping costs
  Metalworking Tools
5 Scriber
5 Hammer, ballpeen, 8 oz
1 Parallels for milling vise set
1 Milling vise, TTC, swivel base, 6″ wide jaws, opens 5-1/2″, wt. 100#
1 Vise, angle, for drill press
10 Allen wrenches, set
5 Oil cans, small
12 Files, mill
12 Files, rattail
12 Files: bastard
20 File handles
1 Tap and die sets, including wrenches
2 Hammer, ballpen, 16 oz
5 Power hand grinders, (Makita)
1 Drills, complete 1 to 60, A to Z, 1/64 to 1/2″, set
5 Reamers, for specific projects
5 Dead blow hammer
3 Bench vises
4 Worktables
8 C-clamps, assorted sizes, 2 of each
10 Eye loupes
1 Tapping head for drill press w/ collets
5 Prick punch
1 Soft jaws for vise
1 Drill chuck for milling machine, for NIMS
2 Magnetic base for indicator
1 Millermatic 210 MIG welder
1 Miller Synchrowave 180, TIG welder
1 MSC 3-in-1 metalforming machine
   
Quantity Personal Protective Equipment
1 SDS “Right to Know Station” and HMIS labels
1 Red can for rags
2 Fire extinguishers, recharble for student practice
1 Eye wash station
1 First aid kit
1 Lock out/tag out kit with forms and 10 booklets
1 Spill clean up kit and additional “snakes” and oil-dry
1 Hand washing facilities
   
Quantity Consumable items
1 First aid supplies
1 Red and green labels, for good and bad parts
3 Layout dyes
1 Dye remover
20 Hacksaw blades
3 Replacement files: bastard, mill, rattail
5 Handles for files
1 Replacement files: bastard, mill, rattail
5 Deburring tools, countersinks
1 Metal for projects, should be donated but if have to purchase
2 6″ buffing/polishing wheels, for pedestal grinder
50 Discs for hand power grinder/sander, abrasive
20 Discs for hand power grinder/sander, polishing
10 Cutoff wheels for hand power grinder
1 Sandpaper, sheets: series of rough to fine
20 Scotch-brite pads, medium and fine
1 Oil, lubricating
3 Cutting fluid (tap magic)
1 Surface plate cleaner
2 Stones for surface plate
1 Sharpening or replacing reamers
3 Recharging fire extinguishers
1 Misc
1 Shipping
1 Curriculum, workbooks, and certification testing
Quantity Other Items
1 Annual Contracted Machine Maintenance, Service & Repair

HGR drill press

Ever have a filling? A local manufacturing company shapes the drills’ cutting edges.

Dentist with drill

William Sopko and Sons Co., located at 26500 Lakeland Blvd., Euclid, Ohio, was started in 1952 in the basement of current owner Bill Sopko Sr.’s parents’ home on East 267th Street. His dad, also Bill, worked in the Maintenance Department at Tapco (now TRW) after returning home from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Prior to the war, he worked at Ohio Ball Bearing Company (now Applied Technologies) in the Spindle Repair Department.

Bill Sr., says, “Many people do not know what a spindle is. It is NOT the wood spindle on a staircase. In industry, the spindle assembly has a shaft that is mounted on bearings and turns at high speeds. The special bearings must support both radial and axial pressures. On the end of the shaft an adaptor holds either a grinding wheel or a cutting tool. The higher the speed, the more precise the spindle must be.”

Since his father had two young children at the time, one of them being Bill, Sr., Bill Sopko decided to go out on his own and start a business, William Sopko and Sons Co. His wife, Mary, did the paperwork. They picked Euclid as home because it was the perfect place to have a family and establish a business. In the early 1950s, Euclid was booming with industry.  Then they had two more kids to make a family of six.

Mary died in 1967 and Bill in 1974. The business still was located in the basement on East 267th Street. In 1971, Bill Sr. graduated from college, got married and rented a small block building on St. Clair Avenue. He purchased a milling machine, saw and surface grinder. Prior to this he had outsourced all of his manufacturing to local shops, many still in business today. In 1976, the company moved out of the basement into a building on Lakeland Boulevard in Wickliffe. In the early 1990s it needed more space and moved back to Euclid into the company’s current location on Lakeland Boulevard.

The current business has three segments, all related to precision grinding and machining. First, it is a precision spindle repair service company that rebuilds all types of ball and roller-bearing spindles. Most popular are surface grinders, cutter grinders, internal grinders, Moore Jig grinders, both foreign and domestic. The company has rebuilt more than 10,000 precision spindles during the past 64 years. Second, it manufactures grinding accessories that include wheel adapters, internal grinding quills, collet chuck quills, extensions, flanges, spacers and precision wheel screws. Finally, the company is a stocking distributor for spindle-related products. Its major lines include Dumore hand grinders, tool post grinders, parts, spindles and drill units, and Gates power transmission products including flat spindle belts, poly vee, variable speed and vee belts.

Sopko and Sons employs experienced machine technicians who can run manual lathes, CNC turning and milling machines and a complete precision grinding department to grind its products and spindle repair components, as required. Sopko does not do contact grinding for other companies. Grinding shops are its customers, and it does not compete against them. According to Bill Sr., “Some common applications of our precision spindles include forming and sharpening the cutting edges on the tiny drills the dentist uses to drill your teeth for a filling. Some spindles are used to grind hardened ball bearings, automotive engine blocks and jet aircraft components.”

Currently, the third generation is involved with the company. Bill Jr., Brian and Jillian Sopko all are on board to continue to serve valued customers all over the country.  With regard to the future, Bill Sr. says, “The future will have many technical advancements affecting the whole world. People in manufacturing will make products of tomorrow using precision machine tools. Our business will adjust to this new technology as it is discovered, and we will continue to service and supply the needs of the new century.”

William Sopko and Sons logo