In order to support the needs of high-tech manufacturing industries, cities looking to attract international companies need an ample supply of a crucial resource: educated and trained workers. One of the things that has helped Mexico’s manufacturing industry to evolve from relatively low-skill labor jobs to more advanced industries is its emphasis on developing its labor force with the right skills needed to work at maquiladoras with complex assembly processes, and still benefit from economies of scale. This has led to the rise of training centers such as the Centro de Entrenamiento en Alta Technologica (CENALTEC) in the regions of Juarez and Chihuahua.
CENALTEC was originally established in the city of Juarez in 2000 to help support the plastics, automotive, electronics and other industrial sectors in the region. Because of its success in Juarez, CENALTEC was expanded to Chihuahua in 2006 and adding training in aerospace and medical device manufacturing as well. As the first training center of its kind in Mexico, CENALTEC enjoys three different funding sources: the Chihuahua state government, the Ministry of Education and the private sector.
One of the advantages of CENALTEC is that its programs are specifically designed to produce graduates that are immediately able to join the workforce. Typically, CENALTECs curriculum is 80 percent practical training and 20 percent theoretical, allowing students to quickly become accustomed to working with state-of-the-art technology and processes while still learning enough of the theoretical background to adapt to changes in the industry. In order to ensure that the programs provide the training needed to work in these high-tech fields, industry leaders regularly provide input so that the certification programs are tailored for the ever-evolving needs of cutting-edge technology.
CENALTEC offers two different kinds of programs. Their Certification Programs offer courses that allow students to obtain certifications in different fields from a variety of institutions. However, what sets CENALTEC apart is its Specific Accelerated Training programs. These programs are tailor-made to meet business-needs and are flexible in the hours, scope, length of the course and content. As a result, companies can work with CENALTEC to develop training programs that exactly meet their needs. This allows companies to train and recruit workers locally, which costs less resources than recruiting and training workers from abroad. Most importantly, companies can ensure that the workers that graduate from these programs have exactly the skills that the company needs to manufacture in Mexico.
The certifications from CENALTEC are evaluated and recognized by many international organizations, including certification bodies from the European Economic Community, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The National Institute for Metal Working Skills in the United States as well as the Training Centres for Work for the Ministry of Education in Mexico. As a result, graduates know that they have world-class training and have been instructed by educators who are highly skilled in the industry, providing them with skills that allow them to easily enter the workforce. Overall, CENALTEC’s involvement in Juarez and Chihuahua manufacturing have provided companies with the skilled workers needed to run their factories efficiently.