DATC Launches Plastic Injection Molding Program

Kaysville, Utah - The Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) Wednesday launched its Plastic Injection Molding program at its Freeport West Extension Center in Clearfield, Utah. Recognizing the need for more trained workers in this field, the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP), a collaborative partnership between the Department of Workforce Services (DWS), the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), awarded DATC a $250,000 grant to develop the program and train Utah students for jobs in this fast growing industry.

“If Utah’s economy is to continue to thrive and grow, we must meet the challenges brought on by an ever-changing technological manufacturing industry. Injection molding is exactly that segment of industry," said Todd Bingham, President of the Utah Manufacturer's Association.

DATC's president Micheal Bouwhuis said, "Like our composites program, this program expands to a niche in the industry that is emerging as a dynamic, high-growth segment. Growth in this industry is dependent on the availability of a highly trained workforce. We intend to fulfill that industry need with some of Utah's most skilled workers."

Thousands of items, from toys like Lego bricks to life-saving medical devices, are manufactured by injection molding. The manufacturing process involves complicated, precision machines that inject a polymer material into a mold at high pressures and temperatures. Highly trained, skilled operators oversee the manufacturing process to make certain the finished products meet quality standards.

Industry partners and employers are eager to see injection molding programs training future employees. "We see such a program assisting us with in-depth training of current employees, and in identifying future candidates and employees. One of our goals in the next year is to create an official apprenticeship program here at Merit that could include students or graduates from injection molding programs,“ says Rick Portrey, Director of Employment and Recruiting at Merit Medical Systems.

The 900-hour injection-molding program at DATC will take a full-time student about one year to complete, preparing them for a growing segment of the industry where workers garner a competitive wage. The program is open to both high school and adult students.

For more information, go to www.datc.edu/injection-molding or call 801-593-2332.