For manufacturers in Mexico, access to skilled labor and high-quality talent is essential. The Offshore Group's School-Industry Partnership Program in Guaymas and Empalme, Sonora, Mexico at the Maquilas Teta Kawi manufacturing community is connecting members of the local community to valuable career growth opportunities.
As noted by Lic. Armando Lee Quiroga, director general of The Offshore Group in MTK, several initiatives have been launched with schools in the area to align their educational programs with the demand for human capital by the high tech industry:
- A mechatronic engineering program with middle schools
- An applied learning program with CONALEP, the country's national college for technical education
- A partnership with Hermosilla Technological Institute, which focuses on engineering students who spend a year working in design, innovation and engineering projects in the aerospace industry. The program allows students to develop local talent and gives them improved career opportunities, while simultaneously providing high-quality talent to the manufacturing industry.
According to MCE. Adolfo Rivera Castillo, director general of ITH, the internship program benefits students in the following ways:
- Allows them to apply their knowledge
- Empowers them to solve real problems within the aerospace manufacturing industry
- Gives them an opportunity to visualize a stage for professional growth within the manufacturing industry
"This [program] allows us to meet the objective ITH has by preparing capable engineers with the need for high-level talent and high-level human capital that MTK has," says Castillo.
Williams International in Guaymas is one company that receives interns from the program with ITH. As noted by Luis Fernando, operations manager for Williams International in Guaymas, the benefits of the internship are plentiful.
"Benefits are many, one of them has been that, as interns are learning, they receive training and knowledge with us and become valuable assets to the company, who help us in our daily activities in terms of achieving our goals and objectives."
Internship programs and alignment with local community educational objectives is one of the many ways manufacturers can leverage the benefits of manufacturing communities in Mexico.
Educational improvements make internship programs possible
Beyond initiatives like the internship program at MTK, advancements in education are one of the many benefits of manufacturing in Mexico. A decade ago, companies were wary of moving their operations to Mexico due to a lack of skilled labor and an uneducated populace.
However, Mexico has made improvements in education a priority in order to maintain growth of the country's manufacturing sector. In fact, U.S. News and World Report shared data that showed the percentage of Mexico's population over the age of fifteen that had received higher education nearly doubled between 1990 and 2010. Further, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
estimated 49 percent of Mexico's young students would graduate from upper secondary education in 2013, compared to only 33 percent in 2000.
The Mexican government has played an active role in making these promising numbers a reality. Area Development reported Mexico has doubled the number of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the country, and funded 120 new colleges and universities emphasizing science and engineering. Initiatives by the Mexican government to improve education make manufacturing in Mexico, as well as The Offshore Group's School-Industry Partnership Program, possible.