ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – (June 11, 2013) – With recruitment of experienced tool and die makers becoming increasingly difficult, and several experienced Tool Room staff approaching retirement age in the next five to eight years, Hudson Technologies is taking steps today to help insure it has a skilled workforce in the future.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Career and Adult Education issued a certificate of registration on May 17 to the Hudson Technologies Apprenticeship Program for the trade of tool and die maker. The program, which covers Volusia, Flagler, Lake and Seminole counties, is the only tool and die maker apprenticeship in Central Florida (FDOE Region 2). After completing the 4-year (8,000-hour) program, participants will receive a journeyworkers tool and die maker card.

The apprenticeship program has two components – on-the-job training and related technical instruction. All on-the-job training will be done at Hudson Technologies and classroom instruction will be held at the Advanced Technology College (ATC) in Daytona Beach. As the sponsor of the apprenticeship program, Hudson Technologies worked with FDOE to define specific program standards and insure the program is aligned with industry occupational standards. According to the FDOE, certifications earned through registered apprenticeship programs are recognized nationwide.

“This is a win-win program – for our employees, the community and Hudson Technologies,” said Bret Schmitz, Hudson Technologies vice president of operations. “The program allows participants to learn while they earn, getting on-the-job-training from skilled professionals. The curriculum leverages existing technical classes through Daytona State College, and Hudson Technologies is training future tool and die makers on the specialized skills and technology unique to our manufacturing process.“

Applicants must be a Hudson Technologies team member to participate in the program. They must also be at least 18 years of age, hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and be physically able to perform the work of the trade.

“The path into this apprenticeship program is through employment at Hudson Technologies and enrollment levels will be based on business need,” explains Schmitz. “Initially we expect to fill the program with seven current employees who want to learn by doing and advance their careers. Down the road, as apprentices advance through the program, additional production positions will likely open up.”

Hudson Technologies, a JSJ business, has hired more than 40 additional team members in 2013. “Our business is growing and so is our need for skilled employees. We simply can’t afford to leave the development of this critical workforce pipeline to chance,” said Schmitz.