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How to Train the Next Generation of High Tech Manufacturing People: Unique Tool & Gauge Initiates New One-Year Training Program In Partnership With OYAP and St. Clair College

WINDSOR, ON, CANADA, FEB. 28 – Unique Tool & Gauge has announced that it has initiated a new, structured one-year training program designed to lead to full-time mold making positions with the firm.


“Our industry needs to find new ways to attract, train, grow and retain great young people,” said Darcy King, President of Unique Tool and Gauge. “For our first class of trainees we’ve worked in partnership with the Greater Essex County District School Board’s Ontario Youth Apprentice Program (OYAP) and the Dual Credit Program associated with St. Clair College to develop what we feel is a great way to attract talented young people to the world of high technology manufacturing,” he said. 


King stressed that the program is not limited to students, and anyone interested in pursuing a career in mold making is invited to apply for the next class, which is anticipated to begin in six months.



How The Program Works


The first eight trainees began work on February 6th, and those who successfully complete the program will graduate February 1, 2019. Six are 11th grade OYAP high school students, who are working on a one-year, paid co-op placement, while two are current dual credit students in the St. Clair College General Machinist Program. All eight are working on a full-time basis at Unique Tool and Gauge, and receive both salary and benefits. 


The program participants will learn and develop skills over a broad range of disciplines, including Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, computer-based mold design, electrical discharge machine (EDM) operation, critical tolerance machining operations and mold construction. The goals of the program are to have trainees placed in full-time positions in the selected department in which they excelled during their 12-month experience.  


Following the conclusion of the program, the 11th grade high school OYAP students will return to their school for the final months of their grade 12 high school education and receive their diploma on time with other members of their class. For those enrolled in the 8 week St. Clair College General Machinist Program, they will return to complete the second half of their program. Upon completion of their school studies, successful graduates of the training program will come back to Unique Tool and Gauge where they will assume full-time positions and begin their careers in earnest. 


In addition to students from the St. Clair College Dual Credit program, students from Herman High School, Villanova High School and General Amherst High School are also participating. 


A Better Way to Train the Next Generation of Manufacturing Experts


“We’ve assigned one of our master mold makers to serve full-time as lead instructor for this program,” said Chad Thomas, Human Resource Manager for unique Tool & Gauge. “The most important aspect of the program is learning the safe operation of complex, manufacturing equipment. Safe operating procedures and thorough knowledge of the equipment being used is built into every part of the program,” added Thomas.


Brad McIntosh, who serves as System Co-op Teacher and Dual Credit Coordinator for the Greater Essex County School Board, commented, “This program is different. It’s almost a school within a mold shop. These students will feel like they’re part of something they can experience together. I think Unique Tool & Gauge is on the right track in developing a new way of training our students. They’ve developed a wonderful program,” he added. 


“We’re raising the bar for the industry, and this program represents a substantial investment on our part,” said King. “However, it will pay off for us and provide us over time with a new generation of savvy and highly trained manufacturing experts. We think there’s no better position than a manufacturing job and the young people we’re training today will have a bright, and well-paying future ahead of them,” he said.


About Unique Tool and Gauge Inc.


Unique Tool & Gauge Inc. began operations in 1982. Over the years Unique has become a quality leader in the mold making industry, and operates out of a 60,000 square foot facility located in Windsor, Ontario. Unique currently works with all major global automotive producers and their key Tier 1 suppliers. The business provides full service design, manufacturing, and program management of tooling from initial concept until years later, when the product life cycle is complete. Darcy King, its President & CEO, leads the business.

For more information, please contact:

John H. Caccese

Unique Tool & Gauge Inc.

570-470-1555 – Cell

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