Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm
Although engineers are in great demand in the United States, many are still finding it difficult to land new jobs. Some have not been trained in the latest software applications. Some may find that they do not have the training that current job openings are demanding or they may not know who is hiring, according to Andrea Siverling, business development manager for West Bend-based Synvent Corp.
Synvent helps connect engineers with businesses that need them. The company is a mechanical engineering staffing, training and development firm. The firm places engineers with manufacturing, design and engineering companies in the Midwest on a per project basis.
If engineers who join Synvent are not updated with training for current software applications, Synvent trains the engineers so that they are suitable for job placement, Siverling said.
"Engineering is project-based. Different projects take a different expertise and a different set of eyes, which is what drives consulting," Siverling said. "Clients can call Synvent back as needed to have a shared workforce and resource. So when the engineers go to companies as consultants, the company is not adding to its head count, and we become a vendor."
When engineers sign on with Synvent, they are not signing up with a temporary employment firm. Engineers become full-time employees of Synvent with competitive salaries and benefits, including paid vacation and health care coverage.
"It is nice to offer candidates and clients a little more stability," said Kim Kasper, a technical recruiter for Synvent.
Synvent also trains companies on the latest versions of 3-D engineering software applications, including CATIA, an engineering product development solution created by New York-based IBM Corp., and Pro/Engineer, a product development solution created by Needham, Mass.-based Parametric Technology Corp.
Synvent offers commercial training sessions on the software applications to companies looking to upgrade their employees’ skills.
"Our goal is to empower Wisconsin residents," said Jesse Daily, senior project manager and rapid prototyping specialist for Synvent.
The firm is also preparing to launch Synvent University with its first class in August. Synvent University will be an educational training program that Synvent will offer in CATIA and Pro/Engineer programs.
The program is in the process of being approved by the Wisconsin Education Approval Board (EAB) and will have to be in progress for two years before it can be evaluated by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Inc. (ABET) in Baltimore.
"We legitimized our training to the point where it was value-added and the state came and asked us to be a school," Daily said.
There are a total of 30 credits that students can use for the program, which includes mandatory courses, electives and prerequisites. Graduates of the program will receive a technical certificate approved by the EAB.
Synvent specializes in working with mechanical engineers, but has also worked with manufacturing, industrial and electrical engineers, technical writers, mechanics and sales engineers.
"If it is related to engineering, we have taken it on," Kasper said.
Last year, Synvent worked with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to supplement the education that students and alumni receive with Pro/Engineer Wildfire training. Synvent held an eight-week, 40-hour, intense training course on Saturdays for those interested in becoming certified on the software application.
Educational training through the Synvent University costs $150 per credit.
"Companies use the four major 3-D applications, including AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Pro/E and CATIA, and we can’t teach, nor can any other engineering school, teach engineering students to be proficient in all areas," said Kenneth McAteer, vice president of operations and a placement associate at MSOE. "Students take general courses like 3-D modeling or strategy that engineers use and introduce these things, so if they get into an industry that requires that, they have an understanding."
Graduates have the basic understanding but then need to rely on their industry or company to become experts in the software applications. With Synvent’s eight-week training offering, students will be more marketable to employers.
Kasper worked with a Georgia Tech graduate who had no experience applying knowledge, she said. The individual was trained at Synvent for four weeks and was then quickly placed in a good position at a high technology company.
"When individuals are working with Synvent, they never fall behind, their skill set will be up to date and we create a very employee-centric company where we are giving back in relative to what they are giving to us," Daily said.
"We offer an array of services and meet the needs of the industry while continuing to draw engineering talent from a local source," Kasper said.
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