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GE Aviation Case Study

COMPOSITES WORKFORCE TRAINING FOR GE AVIATION

CHALLENGE

When GE Aviation announced its selection of Ellisville, Mississippi for its new jet engine composite parts production facility, the Mississippi Polymer Institute (MPI) and Jones County Junior College (JCJC) partnered to support the prestigious company’s hiring and workforce development needs. The opening of the advanced composites manufacturing plant created the need for a world-class workforce trained in advanced composites manufacturing technology because the plant manufactures and assembles composite components that are unique in the aviation industry. Of critical importance is a safe work environment and ensuring the staff has a good working knowledge of the materials with which they work.

SOLUTION

Mississippi Polymer Institute’s expertise and capabilities in polymer science and workforce training made it a natural choice for developing and delivering composite training. GE Aviation partnered with MPI to develop the local workforce for the new facility. Ty Posey, MPI’s Workforce Development and Technical Leader, lead the effort to create three composite training courses (Introduction to Composites, Composites Structures, and Lean Composites) for GE Aviation’s pre-employment and post-hiring needs. The Introduction to Composites course is part of JCJC's Advanced Manufacturing Skills Certification, which includes training in business, lean manufacturing, safety, basic math, blue print reading, and team training. The Introduction to Composites course is designed specifically for GE Aviation and the process.

RESULTS

The courses are taught at the Accelerator in a simulated production environment, offering the trainees the opportunity to produce advanced composite parts. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as the trainees value the hands-on activities and interactive nature of the training. The specially designed courses are giving new employees the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively work in GE Aviation’s Ellisville Composites facility.

MPI delivered the first composites training course for GE Aviation in January 2013 and has delivered 32 training events since then. A total of 329 students have been trained in and successfully completed the program thus far. GE Aviation has hired 76 employees to date and has recently announced a new round of hiring. The program and collaboration has been so successful that GE Aviation and MPI are currently partnering to develop a new composites course in resin transfer molding for future training.

“I have personally been a part of the GE Aviation/MPI partnership for over two years. Mississippi Polymer Institute’s expertise and willingness to customize their services to meet our needs has been fantastic. I have recommended them to several other manufacturers in and beyond Mississippi.” Nate Beach, Ellisville Plant Leader