South Carolina’s manufacturing sector continues to grow at an impressive rate. Yet, a lack of skilled job applicants remains a persistent problem. That’s why ECPI University’s Greenville campus has formed a partnership with PA Solutions, aimed at helping people acquire the skills needed to work with robotic and automated manufacturing systems.
Founded in 1986, PA Solutions is a leading supplier of automation solutions for the chemical and automotive markets, providing electrical, instrumentation and control engineering for the process industry. With more than 1,200 automation engineers worldwide, it provides in-depth automation knowledge with broad experience in a variety of processes and solutions.
In recent years, advanced automation and robotics have been largely responsible for helping the state attract new manufacturers and expand existing operations. While the typical manufacturing facility no longer requires as many workers as it once did, the people who remain are responsible for programming, monitoring, and maintaining all of the automated equipment, and must possess a high-level skill set. However, developing a steady supply of these workers has been a significant challenge.
As part of this new partnership with ECPI University, PA Solutions has acquired a KUKA industrial robot for the University’s use on and off campus. A pioneer in robotics and automation technology, KUKA robots are among the worlds’ most widely used. PA Solutions employees will serve as adjunct professors, not only working with ECPI University students, but also in the community at large.
“We envision taking this equipment to area high schools and training students who may want to pursue a manufacturing career right after graduation,” says ECPI University Greenville Campus President Karen Burgess. “Many of our local manufacturers use KUKA robotics, and upon completion of their training, students can be prepared to become fully certified on this equipment and eligible to compete for some very desirable jobs.”