According to Composites Magazine’s 2018 State of the Industry Report, the future of the global composites market is bright, in fact the global composites end-product market is expected to reach $113.2 billion by 2022, according to market research firm Lucintel. While a growing industry is a good thing, growth doesn’t come without challenges such as maintaining a skilled work force of technicians, floor managers and sales people.
Many organizations in the composites industry turn to ACMA’s Composites Certified Technician (CCT) program for comprehensive, standardized employee training in different composites materials. The program gives staff the specialized skills and knowledge they need to facilitate and support company growth and demonstrates their commitment to advancing employee knowledge and education. If your organization views employee training as a cost center, there’s ample reason to reconsider, including a measured increased in productivity, greater employee engagement and decreased turnover.
How Companies Benefit
Wes Hobbs, CCT-Certified Instructor and a CCT instructor at Davis Technical College in Utah who sees first-hand the benefits companies gain by investing in CCT training.
“Prospective technicians gain more knowledge than what they experience in their day-to-day jobs. They’re exposed to a broader context for concepts, new processes, and a larger knowledge base that their managers either may not have or not share due to time constraints.”
CCT Program Benefits the Sales Team
The CCT program isn’t only for technicians. “Because I focus on vocabulary, materials processes and terminology, sales people in the class learn to speak to technicians in their language and have better discussions. They also get to experience first-hand what the technicians go through.” Hobbs says this deeper level of understanding adds credibility with customers as well.
Hobbs hasn’t found any other composites certification program like ACMA’s CCT program, or like the CCT Instructor certification training he completed to earn the Certified Composites Instructor designation. “I like how the instructor program covers both how best to teach composites to technicians in the field, and how to increase the intensity of the learning experience to increase knowledge and skills retention.”
Jeff Austad, National Sales Director at Ventilation Solutions, heard about the CCT program at ACMA conferences he attended, and enrolled to see what it was all about.
Credibility Gains with Customers
“I was in sales at the time and used my CCT certification as a sales tool. Other sales people didn’t have composites knowledge and that can be a detriment, so as we onboarded new sales people I thought it would be a great idea to have them get certified. The CCT certification adds credibility for our company—the sales people share their knowledge with customers who see this information as value-add for doing business with our organization.
As the company grew, so did the sales force, and Jeff moved into management. “I made CCT certification a prerequisite for our sales people, and several members of our team became CCT instructors, which is a value-add because we can train staff and customers to be more knowledgeable about the composites industry, the chemistry, and how it all fits together. This gives everyone a higher level of expertise.”
Cultivating a Safer Workplace
Each CCT program covers not only the processes associated with a particular type of composites material, but the safety aspects as well, including potential hazards, safe materials handling, reducing emissions, quality control, inspection and testing—all of which can add to enhanced product quality.
“To employers in our industry, I would say time is money but this is worth it,” said Austad. You can’t afford not to give your employees the knowledge. It’s not, ‘If I train them I have to pay them more, and they leave’. An employee who is empowered is more likely to stay, be more engaged and contribute more to the organization.”
Learn more about the CCT program.