Phosphate mining giant Mosaic sees the State College of Florida as key to its future. So on Thursday the company announced it would be funding a new $350,000 manufacturing program, to be paid out over two years, to train the next generation of manufacturing workers.
Starting next fall, SCF will offer 10 new employer-requested manufacturing courses. The Manufacturing Opportunities for Skills Advancement and Innovation Collaboration program is designed to fill a skills gap and equip students to fill roles that will be opening in the coming decade.
“We have an aging workforce. There are going to be a significant number of openings that come up year after year,” said Walt Precourt, Mosaic’s senior vice president of phosphate operations. “Frankly, if people come from a program like this, they have a competitive advantage.”
We have an aging workforce. There are going to be a significant number of openings that come up year after year. Frankly if people come from a program like this they have a competitive advantage.
Senior vice president of Phosphate Operations Walt Precourt
Jackie Barron, Mosaic’s public affairs manager, said manufacturing is a lucrative career, offering the example of phosphate mining where the average worker makes $65,000 a year. Barron said this program is the first of its kind Mosaic has undertaken.
“If you look at our postings, there are dozens of jobs at any one given period of time,” Precourt said. “One of the ways to make sure we stay competitive is programs like this.”
The Bradenton campus will be outfitting a lab for the manufacturing program, and the school will offer new classes on motors and controls, industrial management, tools for lean manufacturing and robotics, among other manufacturing-related coursework.
“The financial resources allow us to bring state-of-the-art technology so students will have hands-on experience to work with the kind of instruments that they will confront when they are in the real work place,” SCF president Carol Probstfeld said. “(The partnership) strengthens our community’s economic development with increased job opportunities for students and well-trained graduates for local employers.”