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A Successful Year Partnering with WEDnetPA

WDnetPA and WCU partner
July 25, 2013 - ARCHIVE

In a unique partnership with the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA), West Chester University works with local companies to assess their training needs, develop training plans, submit funding applications and find qualified training providers.

This year, the University has been among 25 educational providers to help manufacturers and technology-based businesses improve their employees'; skills and strengthen their competitive positions.  One such company, IMS Technology Services, claims their experience with WEDnetPA was excellent. Located in Garnet Valley, Pa., the company's certified technology professionals provide high quality solutions to facilitate collaboration, productivity, learning and business communication.

"WEDnet funds allowed us to focus on providing resources for much needed training for our existing employees in project and time management, and various industry specific technical and IT training," says John H. Renninger, president of IMS Technology Services.

Gail A. Buerkel, the general manager of Applied Energy Systems, an industry supplier of gas delivery systems in Malvern, also credited WEDnet with supporting an extensive and costly training effort. "Our plans to grow in the medical area, required ISO certification - learning the standard, the certification process and developing a quality plan was complicated and required contracting outside services."

As a result, says Buerkel, Applied Energy Systems was approved for ISO 13485 certification, and the company’s employees are currently performing at that standard.

With the support of WEDnet, employees at Whitford Corporation, which manufactures the world's largest line of high performance fluoropolymer coatings, underwent 5S training. "This training improved the shop floor working environment," says Whitford's production manager Jim Abate. "It not only made operations more efficient, but set us up for sustainable 5S, giving us a competitive advantage going forward."

Funded through the Department of Community and Economic Development, WEDnetPA is a unique partnership of community colleges, state system universities and other educational institutions that was created to deliver the Commonwealth's Guaranteed Free Training program. WEDnetPA has helped 17,000 manufacturers and technology-based businesses to improve their employee's skills and strengthen their competitive positions.