USDA Grant Supports Training for Delaware’s Manufacturing Workforce

Contact: Kathy Beisner
(302) 857-3582

Today, United States Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and USDA Rural Development State Director Bill McGowan toured the Delaware Manufacturing Development Center’s Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) Lab located on the campus of Polytech and part of their adult education program.                                                        

“In order to attract businesses to locate and expand in Delaware, we need to make sure we have a well-trained workforce,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper.  “This grant will help train students with the skills they will need to be workforce ready upon graduation.”                            

The lab is equipped with four new PLC training benches and other automation equipment and software that received the support of a $50,000 USDA Rural Development grant.   The Delaware Manufacturing Development Center opened in January and was created to address a manufacturing skills shortage impacting local industries.

“A big part of what we do at USDA Rural Development is to help support the rural economy,” said Dr. Bill McGowan, USDA Rural Development State Director.  “We are lucky to have Polytech Adult Education providing a niche training program for local manufacturers.  USDA’s business programs are designed to help create and retain jobs and this effort by Polytech fits perfectly with our mission.  The new PLC lab will help maximize employment potential and development for the region.”

Students entering the field or those in the workforce that need to learn new skills receive training using the same tools, components, and systems they will encounter in the manufacturing facility.   Instructors can also take the curriculum offsite and teach manufacturing skills at the local manufactures site.  The program is a huge savings for local employers who were traditionally sending employees hundreds of miles away.

Others participating in today’s tour was Hirsh Industries, a manufacturer of office furniture in north Dover and has sixteen employees currently taking PLC classes.  

President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger.  Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

Last Modified: 12/22/2015