Potomac is Training the Workforce of the Future for Advanced Manufacturing with Maryland’s WorkSmart Program
At Potomac it is our people who have made us the success we are today. Whether working in laser micromachining, 3D Printing, CNC machining, hot embossing, laser hole drilling or microfluidics fabrication, our team manufactures the highest quality products for our customers. We believe it is our company’s responsibility to give our engineers, technicians, operators and QR staff the tools needed to be successful at an individual task, which is then interwoven into the final product we deliver.
Training is one of the tools we provide our staff, for without 21st century advanced manufacturing skills today’s worker cannot compete in the manufacturing marketplace and Potomac cannot solve our customer’s demanding digital fabrication problems. We are fortunate to be located about a mile from the Community College of Baltimore County [CCBC], with whom we’ve developed a strong training relationship.
Potomac was recently honored to be included in a ceremony whereby Commerce Secretary Michael Gill of the Maryland Dept. of Commerce recognized CCBC and the 16 statewide community colleges that work together in the WorkSmart program. Workforce training has become a major offering in the community college system and each school had been independently creating programs. “WorkSmart was initiated by the college Presidents in order to foster collaboration and reduce duplication of effort,” explains Kathleen Hebbel, Associate Director Maryland WorkSmart, “and CCBC President Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis was so taken with the concept that she provided funding to launch the unique 1-stop shop for industry to find answers to their workforce training needs at an affordable price.”
With one central source, an employer has access to a quick, nimble network of workforce training resources, including customized contract training services. In the past year alone, WorkSmart reports working with over 1,000 Maryland companies. At the recent Department of Commerce event, Potomac’s digital fabrication internship with CCBC’s Fab Lab was highlighted. “It’s these kinds of interactive, hands-on training programs that new advanced manufacturing technologies require when we fabricate parts for the biotech, medical device, microfluidics, display, microelectronics, and consumer products markets,” remarks Potomac President and CEO Mike Adelstein.
Potomac has had such success collaborating with CCBC and the WorkSmart program, that this year we provided 2 scholarships for students to take the Digital Fabrication DFAB 101 course at CCBC in the spring semester. The scholarship covers tuition, fees and a 4-month membership in Open Works, a fully equipped Fab Lab in Baltimore with 3D Printing, laser cutting and marking, and other digital fabrication tools for practical application of the coursework.
Potomac believes American companies must invest in our employees. We are particularly lucky that in Maryland we have state training programs like WorkSmart to help us provide advanced manufacturing skills for the workforce of the future.