How Michelin Develops a Stream of Trained Automation Employees

Randy Crutfield of Michelin North America explains how Michelin’s workforce development programs and close collaboration with local community colleges helps ensure the company has a steady of stream of well-qualified workers.

Amid years of discussion about a manufacturing skills gap—or lack thereof—and what factors may or may not have created it, many companies instead focused on taking action to address their workforce needs now and in the future. One of those companies is Michelin.

Randy Crutfield, site hiring manager for Michelin North America’s Lexington, S.C. site (the largest site for Groupe Michelin and the largest manufacturing employer in South Carolina), explained to attendees of The Automation Conference 2015 how the company operates its workforce outreach program, which is designed to ensure the company has little problem maintaining the knowledgeable workforce it needs.

Key factors in this program are:

  • Michelin Technical Scholars Program—through which select students can develop hands-on work experience while earning their degree in Electronic Engineering Technology or Mechatronics at a local technical college. Michelin Technical Scholars receive scholarships to cover the cost of tuition, fees and books for the program along with competitive pay and part-time work and benefits;
  • Internal policies and procedures for finding the right candidates—which includes specific tests for math, mechanical aptitude, and electrical and mechanical technology skills;
  • Area school visits and outreach to kids as early as 9th grade;
  • A formal pipeline assessment process; and
  • Partnerships with local technical colleges that includes curriculum alignment.

A video combining Crutfield’s audio presentation at The Automation Conference, along with his slides, can be viewed below.

Joining Crutfield in his presentation were Cheryl Garrison and Accounties Lashan Smith from TriCounty Technical College to explain how they work with Michelin in curriculum development and promotion of Michelin’s program to the school’s student body.

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