Content Hub!
Access free educational content.

A Bright Solution for Future OEM Machining Workforce

An integrated skills-based trades program from Hoosier Feeder Company and New Castle Career Center prepares students for machine assembly jobs.

Chris Schombert, executive VP of Hoosier Feeder Company, speaking to New Castle Career Center students.
Chris Schombert, executive VP of Hoosier Feeder Company, speaking to New Castle Career Center students.
Hoosier Feeder Company

The momentum in the labor market is shifting. Companies struggle to fill positions as the market fluctuates and the gap of skilled, knowledgeable workers grows. Forward-thinking organizations are now using a skills-first method in the hiring process to meet demand. As a result, skills-based training has become vital for building the future oem machining workforce. 

Hoosier Feeder Company, Knightstown, Indiana, produces vibratory, centrifugal, and specialty feeding systems, designed to singulate and orient parts for packaging and assembly automation. The company has partnered with New Castle Career Center, located in New Castle, Indiana. Together, they support its integrated skills-based machine trades program and transform the way students prepare for the workforce. Designed for local high school juniors and seniors, the machine trades learning program provides a high-quality education. It combines real-life industry experiences to develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in a career in machining and machine assembly.  
New Castle Career Center provides hands-on machine assembly and problem-solving skills.New Castle Career Center provides hands-on machine assembly and problem-solving skills.Hoosier Feeder Company

“Students get hands-on experience in the classroom with actual equipment and machinery," said Greg Dickerson of the machine trades program at New Castle. "Then, in their senior year, they get valuable work experience by going to facilities like Hoosier Feeder Company,”

New Castle Career Center offers a machine trades class that allows high schoolers to learn machining and machine and assembly trade skills. It provides two courses for beginners and intermediate students. The precision machining program enables students to become familiar with standard practices in the industry. These include surface grinding, drill press, lathe, mill, CNC, CAD Software, and precise measuring equipment.

These two courses require students to be hands-on. And use problem-solving skills in both the laboratory and classroom. Students are taught to read blueprints, standard and manual machining, and formulas to calculate the proper speed and feed of each machine they encounter. They also learn how to maintain the equipment properly. Precision machining courses can be the gateway for students looking for internships or careers in oem machining businesses. When students reach their second year in the program, they learn computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining. This allows them the opportunity to secure internships with local companies, including Hoosier Feeder Company.

Hoosier Feeder Company has a variety of skilled-trade career opportunities like in-house welding, machining, and assembly.

OEM Machining Community Connections 

Chris Schombert, executive vice president of Hoosier Feeder Company, discusses the importance of community involvement and quality education. “We are extremely grateful [for our involvement] with New Castle Career Center,” Schombert said. I enjoy bringing students into Hoosier Feeder Company because it helps them learn on the job. Machining is an art, and it takes a skilled artist to make these machines.”

At Hoosier Feeder Company, students learn how to make that happen.” The communal impact swings both ways. “This program is a success because of the fantastic partners we have in the community,” said Dickerson.

Eight current and former New Castle Career Center students work at Hoosier Feeder Company. Cody Byrd is a mechanical engineer at Hoosier Feeder Company. He is also a graduate of New Castle. 

“After I graduated, I started with Hoosier Feeder Company full time. Right away, I was machining and applying the skills I learned at the career center…After a little while, an opportunity arose where I could move into a mechanical engineer role. I took that opportunity, and here we are today,” said Byrd. “I wouldn’t have the skill sets that I have today if it wasn’t for New Castle Career Center.”Cody Byrd, mechanical engineer at Hoosier Feeder Company, working with a student.Cody Byrd, mechanical engineer at Hoosier Feeder Company, working with a student.Hoosier Feeder Company

Byrd also acknowledges teacher Greg Dickerson. “Greg is a great guy. He knows what he’s doing. The machine trades course is a great program that would benefit any high schooler interested in going into the world of machining and assembly.”

 New Castle Career Center offers 18 different career training programs. These include machine trades, welding, engineering careers, veterinary science, culinary arts, cosmetology, graphic design, and more. These programs, through the support of local businesses like Hoosier Feeder Company, are able to provide students with advanced hands-on experience. They also teach important soft skills that will allow them to be successful in today’s working world. As the labor market shifts and demand for skilled labor rises, adapting strategies will ensure the industry assembles a strong future workforce.

How to Honor a Leader
Induction into the Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame is the highest honor in our industry. Submit your leader to be considered for the Class of 2024 now through June 10th. New members will be inducted at PACK EXPO International in Chicago.
Read More
How to Honor a Leader
Discover Our Content Hub
Access OEM's free educational content library!
Read More
Discover Our Content Hub