Southern Manufacturing

CFA's Composites Certification Program Reaches 1,000 Mark

23 May 2003

The first training program for the composites manufacturing industry reached an important milestone, certifying its one-thousandth person last month.

The Certified Composites Technician (CCT) program, created in 1999 by the Composites Fabricators Association (CFA), provides uniform training in technical skills necessary for composites manufacturing and an industry standard for production techniques. While the majority of CCTs are manufacturing employees, suppliers and distributors have also applied for training and certification because they have found it gives them the background necessary to better serve their customers.

Composites manufacturers are encouraging their employees to get their CCT credentials because in addition to improving the skills of their work force, manufacturers find the CCT program helps reduce shop waste, increases plant safety, and overall results in better products.

“The CCT program adds an element of standard practice to the open molding side of our industry, which helps control the processes and reinforces the application methods the operators are using. VEC Technology and Larson/Glastron Boats are just two members of the Genmar Boats family that have embraced the program over the past year and have been successful in implementing the disciplines covered in both an open molding and closed molding environment. The CCT program has elements that have benefited and will continue to benefit all aspects of the composite manufacturing industry,” said Timothy H Saulsbery, CCT-I, Director of Intellectual Capital for VEC Technology, Inc.

“The CCT program is growing quickly because the industry recognizes the value of enhanced training. The number of companies committed to total workforce education is increasing on a daily basis,” said Don Abel, CCT-I, Central Regional Manager, Xerxes Corporation and Chairman of the CCT Steering Committee. “Reaching the milestone of 1,000 Certified Composites Technicians is a significant event; and now with more than 80 certified instructors available, the number of individuals and companies coming into the program will increase at an even greater pace.""

CCT candidates can order the study guide and study on their own, or they may sign up for a CCT course with an authorized CCT Instructor. The CCT study guide provides the required course work to prepare for the exam with modules covering topics such as: General Composites Knowledge; Composites Manufacturing Processes; Composites Materials; Gel Coat Application; Open Molding Laminating Techniques; Controlled Spraying; Fluid Handling Equipment Principles; Composites Plant Safety; and Open Molding Quality Assurance. Individuals interested in enrolling in the certification program must have at least one year of experience in the composites industry and fill out an application to receive the study. Exams are held throughout the year in various locations and if an exam is not scheduled near a candidate, special arrangements can be made. Exam dates and locations are posted weekly on CFA’s web site

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