Master Automatic Inc. was one of a group of seven Wayne County, Michigan, manufacturing companies that joined forces to partner with the SME Education Foundation to make available education opportunities for students of Starkweather Academy, part of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools in Plymouth, Michigan in early 2019.
“The launch of this partnership underscores our commitment to preparing students for future careers in manufacturing, an area which is currently experiencing a talent shortage,” said Monica L. Merritt, Superintendent of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. “The support we’ve received from our business community and local leaders has been phenomenal, and we are all encouraged by the prospect of preparing our talented students to thrive in our local business communities.”
The seven local industry investors in the collaboration formed through SME’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) schools initiative seek to boost their skilled talent. The Starkweather SME PRIME program will train students on modern equipment and teach them about the technology and process skills and knowledge necessary to fill roles at the seven Wayne County, Michigan manufacturing companies.
“We are excited for this SME PRIME school in Wayne County and hope there are many more to come,” said Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive. “What’s important about this program is the curriculum is designed with input from employers, which helps ensure we’re connecting students with viable career pathways as the manufacturing industry evolves. The primary barrier to growth in manufacturing is a talent shortage, and this program will help strengthen the pipeline to fill those gaps.”
“My grandparents founded this company in 1942 with one machine in a rented gas station,” says Mark Evasic, president of Master Automatic. “My father joined the company after his service in World War II and grew the company. Today, we are a premier precision machining operation with three facilities and more than 300 employees.”
Key to continued growth has been Master Automatic’s investment in leading-edge technology – and in their people.
“We’ve expanded our talent pipeline in the last few years through in-house training programs,” notes Evasic. “We put a lot of value on this: Without training, we couldn’t have grown; couldn’t have serviced our customers the way we need to.”
Their training program has graduated 40 machinists in the last 3 years. But their efforts don’t stop there: Master Automatic actively seeks to attract talent for positions at every professional and educational level: machine operators, precision machinists, technicians, manufacturing engineers, quality engineers and IT people.
This awareness of the need for qualified, prepared employees was a driver in the company’s early and continuing support for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools SME Prime school program.
“We’re also trying to expand our talent pipeline through the SME PRIME program,” says Evasic. “We want younger people who are looking for a career but may be unsure about direction to consider our work; our industry. These are great, fulfilling careers with great benefits – a future. We want to get the word out: We have opportunities for them.”