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Midway Products Continues Long-Time PMA Training Partnership with METALFORM EDU

January 20, 2023

A privately held Tier-One automotive manufacturer, Midway Products Group, Inc. encompasses eight manufacturing facilities throughout Ohio and Indiana, with its corporate headquarters in Monroe, MI. Its parts and assemblies, produced via stamping, machining, rollforming and hydroforming, backed by robotic assembly and painting operations, can be found nearly anywhere on passenger vehicles.

A long-time user of PMA’s training aids, including VHS- and DVD-based learning tools, Midway Products has fully embraced the latest generation of PMA training services: METALFORM EDU.

METALFORM EDU, designed specifically for the metal forming industry, includes 37 PMA-exclusive online-delivered courses and more than 800 courses in precision measurement, blueprint reading, SPC, CNC, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, safety and more. A flexible, convenient, low-cost, one-stop training source, it is accessible anywhere, anytime with an internet connection. Users can increase employee productivity, skills and engagement by assigning courses based on individual, department and company-wide needs.

Emphasis on Diesetter Training

“With the discontinuance of PMA’s DVD learning system for diesetter training, we were introduced to METALFORM EDU as an option,” explains Lawrence Hancock, training and organizational development manager for Midway Products. “This allowed us to continue with the diesetter training series that we had grown accustomed to, but also walked us into the 800-plus-course METALFORM EDU library that continues to build on skill sets in manufacturing as well as soft skills.”

METALFORM EDU has enabled Midway Products to improve its onboarding of new employees involved with diesetting work, Hancock reports, noting that the training system’s capabilities offer flexibility.

“Our employees have the opportunity to access this learning through one of our computer stations, a tablet or a cell phone,” he says. “And, during training and apprenticeships they can access modules as they have time, even as they perform their everyday tasks.”

Uses Full METALFORM EDU Library

While Midway Products takes advantage of the diesetting courses as a formal training program, it also offers the entire METALFORM EDU library to employees. 

“Our diesetter folks systematically go through this body of knowledge,” Hancock says, “but for our other teammates, it really is on an ad hoc basis. We have begun to roll out courses to our quality technicians and quality engineers, as the quality modules in METALFORM EDU allow them to develop their skills in this area. While not to the level of a Six Sigma Black Belt, the courses instruct to a Green Belt level, giving them exposure beyond just an executive overview.”

Beyond the technical instruction, METALFORM EDU delivers other advantages to Midway Products.

“We don’t have to manage this training system, as it is self-contained,” Hancock says. “If we have any issues, we can reach out to the PMA team to have the issues quickly resolved.”

Can Address Workforce Shortage

With METALFORM EDU firmly entrenched in the training framework at Midway Products, Hancock sees a future with expanded offerings in this learning system, owing to what he learned at a recent conference.

“We were told that through the Covid pandemic, we lost 9 million people in the U.S. workforce, due to death, early retirement or movement out of the manufacturing sector,” he says. “There just aren’t enough people to fill available jobs in the United States. To me, if we can get people in the door, there’s a real opportunity for METALFORM EDU to offer a curriculum that helps motivate people to develop the will to work—oriented to soft skills that develop the total person in work and in life.”

In the meantime, Midway Products continues to grow its use of METALFORM EDU, and will make greater use of it moving forward.

“METALFORM EDU is a part of our fabric, and it’s growing,” Hancock concludes. “It has taken a little while for this to catch on, but it is catching on. We’re grateful for what METALFORM EDU provides to us and our associates.”

Industry-Related Terms: CNC, Forming
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Precision Metalforming Association

Technologies: Training


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