Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 6pm


Education & Training

VMA Human Resources Workshop Focuses on the Next Generation of Workers

YVPs cover photoAt VMA’s first-ever Human Resources Workshop: Promoting Valve Careers to the Next Generation, member HR professionals gathered in Arlington, VA, Nov. 9-10, to hear from recruiting experts on how to attract and develop manufacturing talent, build a strong workforce, employ essential mobile and social media tools, expand college presence, and employ best practices in recruiting. In addition, a panel of VMA’s own Young Valve Professionals (YVPs) gathered to share their experiences as part of the valve manufacturing workforce and offer insight on what it takes to appeal to the younger generation.

Tracy and GregVMA Committee Chair Tracy Fairchild, director of marketing & communications, Velan Valve Corporation, and Vice Chair Greg Johnson, president, United Valve, opened the workshop with an overview of the Valve Careers initiative and the goals that the program hopes to achieve: informing and educating young people about career opportunities in valve manufacturing, and connecting VMA members with these talented young jobseekers. As Fairchild and Johnson overviewed the program’s next steps, they advised members of the workshop audience to spread the word about the Valve Careers program to their own companies’ workforce, to build relationships with local schools and colleges, and to engage other VMA members in the initiative by sharing recruiting success stories.

University of Kentucky Helps Students Prepare for Real World Engineering

University of Kentucky Helps Students Prepare for Real World EngineeringKnowledge in instrumentation and control is critical in the process and manufacturing industries. However, graduating engineers are often lacking in these key areas. Even as universities deemphasize instrumentation and control, industry is seeing a growing need for engineers with expertise in these areas. To address this challenge, the University of Kentucky (UK) Paducah Extended Campus program entered into a collaborative effort with a local equipment provider to provide formalized instruction in the chemical and mechanical engineering programs. The UK Paducah Extended Campus is an undergraduate education-focused extension of the main campus in Lexington where undergraduate students like Maxwell Croft and Emily Burkhart (pictured in headline photo) are engaged in an innovative project.

A critical problem in educating students in the key aspects of process control is that many undergraduate engineering programs lack advanced, industry-relevant equipment as well as the expertise needed to run and maintain it. This has led to difficulty in the chemical process and allied industries in acclimating new graduates to the rigors of manufacturing and plant environments.

VMA, Manufacturers Work to Bridge the Skills Gap

engineer femaleAcross the world of manufacturing, the talent gap is getting broader as top positions are vacated and companies struggle to entice qualified candidates. While there is no avoiding the mass exodus of retirees in the coming years, the Valve Manufacturers Association is focusing on developing a solution to the problem that is plaguing many valve manufacturing companies: how to find and attract talented new workers.

The Industry Comes Together at the 2015 Valve World Americas Show

2015 Valve World Americas Show 1The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston hosted the third iteration of Valve World’s North American trade show on July 15 and 16, a biennial event that brings together valve manufacturers and distributors to meet with valve users and other professionals interested in the educational offerings and a chance to examine and learn more about a wide variety of products.

The day before the event kicked off, VMA held a one-day Valves, Actuators & Controls 101 course attended by a largely young crowd of more than 100. The seven lessons included an introduction to the industry, multi-turn, check and quarter-turn valves along with all types of actuators and control valves. On hand to present were several of VMA’s experienced instructors: Greg Johnson of United Valve, Ed Holtgraver of QTRCO, Arie Bregman of DFT Inc., Paul Souza of AUMA Actuators and Bert Evans of Emerson Process Management – Fisher. One attendee told VMA staff that “the content was excellent” and the course was “very helpful and worthwhile.” A number of attendees stopped by the VMA booth to thank the association for conducting the course, with some expressing an interest in attending one of VMA’s complete Valve Basics courses, which lasts 3 days. (The next course takes place in San Antonio, Oct. 21-23.)



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