Local officials say a new concept called 'Just in Time' job training will help local manufacturers deal with a boom in manufacturing and a growing demand for skilled workers, 1200 WOAI news reprots.


  The first class, sponsored by the San Antonio Manufacturers Association and Workforce Solutions Alamo, graduated Monday in stilled manufacturing trades.  Many of them have jobs already in their pocket, and others have interviews lined up with several employers.


  "What we do is take more than six hundred hours of training and condense that down to 90 days," said Patrick Newman, director of Workforce Solutions Alamo.  "With at least interviews with potential employers at the conclusion of the training."


  Newman says many people are intimidated by the idea of taking a 'two year' course.  Others are worried that the jobs they train for will have vanished by the time they graduate, and many simply can't afford to take years off work to take a traditional job training program.


  Newman says local employers, who are looking to hire 1500 people in manufacturing along, have embraced the concept and other industries are lining up as well.


  "The first cohort we are going to be working with, Rackspace, will be beginning August 26th" he said.  "We are also looking to do something with aerospace, and we are meeting with them in the past couple of weeks."

  Newman points out that these aren't 'screw the same bolt into the same hole 200 times a day' old time manufacturing jobs.  Many of these graduates will manage sophisticated robotic systems.


  Manufacturing is booming in the United States for several reasons.  They include the higher cost of fuel has, in many cases, erased the cost advantage that companies had in exporting jobs to other countries.  Wages in places like China are also rising.


  And, one thing that is helping Texas manufacturing boom is the abundance of natural gas.  The United States is now a next exporter of natural gas, and is on course to become the largest natural gas exporter in the world.


  Many manufacturing plants run on natural gas, and locating plants in places like San Antonio give companies the cost advantages they used to seek by locating facilities in China or Singapore.