An incoming technological institute in Guaymas supporting the aerospace industry provides one more compelling reason for manufacturers to consider building aircraft in Mexico.
That’s the opinion of Enrique Hudson, who manages The Offshore Group’s Roca Fuerte Industrial Park. Located in Guaymas, in the Mexican state of Sonora, Roca Fuerte is home to one of the fastest-growing clusters in the Mexican aerospace industry, including Williams International, Ducommun, Acra Aerospace, Benchmark Electronics, ESCO Turbine Technologies, Goodrich, BAE, Horst Engineering, Trac Tool and Parker Hannifin, among others.
“There is one special requirement that these aerospace manufacturers have in Mexico: talented and skilled labor pool for precision machining of close tolerance parts,” Hudson notes. “With the arrival of manufacturing industries in Guaymas – particularly aerospace – the need for skilled labor has grown tremendously.
“The need for a technical university of Guaymas is necessary to grow the aerospace industry in Mexico,” he adds. “Guaymas will have a technical university to prepare Mexican students for aerospace jobs in the very near future.”
Currently, the country employs 31,000 skilled aerospace workers as compared to its 335,000 laborers focusing on auto manufacturing and parts. Aerospace industry exports were in excess of $4 billion in 2010, with projections of exceeding $12 billion this year.
Realizing the growth of the industry and convinced of a need for technical training for future aerospace employees, Sonoran government authorities discussed the possibilities of building an institution that would support job creation for its citizenry.
For its part, The Offshore Group – a firm that provides what are known as “shelter services” in Mexico that enable manufacturers to establish cost-effective low-risk production in a low-cost country– has partnered with a technical university in Hermosillo to design machining training programs for aerospace workers.
“This allows the training of people with very low skills, and limited mathematics knowledge,” Hudson explains. “We bring them up to speed in CNC machining training courses that are 120 hours in duration. A growing educational infrastructure like this will serve workers and aerospace manufacturers in Mexico, as well.
“Previously, students who took the CNC machining training would have to leave the community to get further training,” he observes. “Having a technological university with a local presence will allow us to fully develop aerospace workers for the industry in Guaymas.”
Another program with which The Offshore Group is involved, Metromatematicas, reaches out to students in the high schools. “Teenagers in this program are taught how to use precision tools to measure things, and to solve real-life manufacturing problems,” Hudson says. “We don’t expect that all of our kids will become engineers, (but) if (it) produces engineers that are able to take part in the local Mexican aerospace industry, then we have accomplished our goal.” (The program site is www.metromatematicas.com.)
The construction of Guaymas’ new technological university will begin later this month, with classes starting on Sept. 3, Hudson reports.
“We have 100 students enrolled in these courses,” he says. “The university is a reality.”
Next week: Hudson discusses the specialization of instruction, the Sonoran government’s commitment to work-related education and the benefits to be realized by aerospace manufacturers.