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PMMI, Festo Didactic partner on workforce development

June 22, 2022

PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and Festo Didactic Inc. North America joined forces to provide PMMI members and education partners with advanced technical education and hands-on training aligned with the industry’s highest standards. Together, the two organizations plan to bring highly customizable training options to packaging and processing companies, helping to close the growing STEM skills gap.

PMMI aims to elevate the talent level within the entire industry through cost-effective, convenient training and development opportunities, and by connecting employers to the next generation workforce. Festo Didactic, an education company with deep roots in manufacturing automation, leverages industry expertise to offer learning solutions that support skills development in all aspects of mechatronics and factory automation.

“Packaging and processing is a uniquely innovative industry, with endless career opportunities – but we are seeing the skills gap continue to grow. This collaboration presents a significant opportunity to provide critical resources to PMMI members and educators who need support to meet the technical workforce needs of the industry,” said Stephan Girard, senior director of workforce development, PMMI. “I look forward to working closely with the Festo Didactic team as we leverage our strong synergy in this joint effort.”

Mechatronics certifications

Manufacturing employers need skilled workers who can operate, maintain and troubleshoot equipment on the plant floor. To achieve this, employees must have the right mechatronics skills. The PMMI Mechatronics Certification program was developed to help educational institutions create industrial maintenance programs that align with the technical needs of manufacturers and prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing. Through a series of online tests based on industry-developed skill standards, PMMI’s Mechatronics Certification program helps employers during the hiring process and helps assess current workers for core skills.

Festo Didactic’s mechatronics learning solutions provide lab equipment and educational content aligned with PMMI’s industry-recognized mechatronics certifications. This capability provides a turnkey solution for high schools, colleges and universities looking to provide mechatronics training that meets the needs of the industry.

Customized training for packaging and processing professionals

Festo Didactic and PMMI plan to bring highly customizable training options to packaging and processing companies. The customized curriculum and hands-on training offers a wide range of topics and skills related to mechatronics and factory automation such as robotics, CAD/CAM/CNC and PLC. Festo’s factory automation learning systems are designed to simulate the most technically advanced processing plants, focusing first on individual stations with the option to scale to more complex Industry 4.0 cyber-physical systems.

Benefits for industry:

  • Improve workforce readiness
  • Upskill employees quickly
  • Reduce turnover
  • Close skills gap with continued learning and professional development courses
  • Highest-quality industry standards

“As a long-standing member of PMMI, with similar goals and approaches to workforce development, stepping into the role of Preferred Technical Learning Collaborator is a natural fit,” said John Holmes, VP of sales for Festo North America. “This partnership was forged in response to the industry’s ongoing hiring and upskilling challenges, and we’re eager to see how our combined expertise and resources positively impact the schools and companies PMMI serves.”

 Tony Oran, VP of Festo Didactic North America, added: “Expanding our technical education and training services with PMMI is an exciting milestone. As experienced industry professionals, we also have a responsibility to give back as educators, and that’s what PMMI and Festo Didactic plan to do. We’re committed to setting people up for success in their careers as individuals while looking for smart ways to come together so industry can thrive as a whole.”

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