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28 September 2007

Tyco Electronics donates machine shop equipment to HACC

A decade-old partnership between HACC and Tyco Electronics entered a new era recently with the global provider of engineered electronic components donating machine shop equipment to Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.

The donation was formalized during a visit Sept. 18 to HACC’s Community Center for Technology and Arts (CCTA) by Tyco Electronics and college representatives.

HACC, which has been leasing the $70,000 worth of equipment since 2000, will continue to provide ongoing training of Tyco Electronics Global Application Tooling Division (TE/GATD) employees, as well as students in the technical skills curriculum at CCTA, 1523 N. Fourth St., Harrisburg.

“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with Tyco Electronics in this joint venture. Training the future workforce is everyone’s job,” said Bill Thompson, dean of HACC’s Business, Hospitality, Engineering and Technology Division.

“HACC has done a tremendous job not only with partnering with Tyco Electronics in helping to meet the training needs of our employees over the years but also in providing a high quality education to those in the communities that we live and work in here in Central Pennsylvania,” said John Zarbus, TE/GATD director of operations and liaison with HACC.

“Besides the Harrisburg and other regional campuses, it’s remarkable to see how the college has grown a small program and one building in this neighborhood to the very impressive recently opened Midtown/Harrisburg Campus.

“The skilled trades portion of HACC’s program helps to fill a vital need for employers in this region,” he continued. “Tyco Electronics is glad to be able to help and to be a part of this.”

Derek Rook, Dustin Cleveland, Wilson Moffitt and Jeffrey Smith, TE/GATD apprentices working under the direction of instructor Lee Killian at CCTA, are in the second year of a four-year program launched by Scott Stine, plant manager of Tyco Electronics’ Waynesboro plant.

“As the workforce ages and retires, highly skilled machinists are needed to replace them,” said Stine, who is looking to recruit five more apprentices and to hire six or seven new Tyco Electronics employees. The program permits the apprentices to learn on the job while receiving a paycheck and an education from seasoned mentors who have worked in the machine shop.

The partnership between HACC and Tyco Electronics began in 1998 when AMP Inc. opened a machining training center in its Fourth Street production facility that was the company’s first building in central Pennsylvania.

HACC provided the instructors and worked jointly on a curriculum so that at the end of two years, successful graduates of the TE/GATD program had both an associate degree and a job with the company. That program graduated several classes of machinists who received hands-on training from AMP and classroom training from HACC.

By 2000, after AMP became part of Tyco Electronics, the Fourth Street building was donated to HACC and an agreement reached to lease the equipment to the college to continue metalworking skills training programs. HACC’s payment was in the form of training that saved Tyco Electronics nearly $400,000.

Most recently TE/GATD has restarted an apprentice program in machining with several students from the company’s Waynesboro facility travel to HACC weekly to receive related training in machining.

HACC continues to provide high quality, customized training that allows Tyco Electronics employees to take classes in support of the corporation’s Six-Sigma initiative with courses in team building, process mapping, and sigma tools and Lean Manufacturing concepts. This training often was delivered on-site to the factories to accommodate scheduling and convenience.

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