Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems says April 24 was a day of celebration for students at Colegio de Estudios Científicos y Tecnológicos del Estado de Coahuila (CECyTEC) – a local technical vocational school in Acuña, Mexico – as the school opened the doors to a new industrial production lab.
Joining the young people in the ribbon-cutting and tours of the new lab were leaders from Bendix and the Mexican state government, which teamed with CECyTEC to design and build the lab under a shared commitment to enhance the school’s facilities, infrastructure, and curriculum.
The 3,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art industrial production laboratory is intended to increase the educational opportunities available to youth in Ciudad Acuña. It is part of a two-initiative plan with CECyTEC.
In a program started last August, Bendix also provides a dual-education apprenticeship opportunity for select CECyTEC students, while delivering practical training for the students at the company’s Acuña campus. Bendix has maintained its growing manufacturing operations in Acuña, a city of 181,000, since 1988. The company recently expanded its presence in Mexico, opening a new Engineering Research and Development Center in Monterrey.
Knorr-Bremse Global Care (KBGC), Bendix/Bendix Foundation, and CECyTEC provided funding for lab construction and equipment, a total investment of almost $300,000. The dual-education program is funded solely by Bendix, the company says.
“Acuña’s growth as a city and continued expansion as a key manufacturing center are increasing the need for a qualified workforce to meet ongoing production demands. We created the dual-apprenticeship program in part to help address that need,” says Carlos Hungria, Bendix chief operating officer, who serves as project coordinator with Maria Gutierrez, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability.
“We’re grateful for the chance to partner with CECyTEC in improving and providing additional educational opportunities for the Acuña community. These initiatives grow directly out of our company-wide commitment at Bendix to give back to the communities where we live and work – a commitment shared by Knorr-Bremse Global Care and the Knorr-Bremse Group.”
Bendix says the production lab will provide an on-site opportunity for CECyTEC students to simulate and experiment on practical industrial workplace scenarios. More than 300 students enrolled in the Industrial Production vocational career at Bendix will use the facility. The company says it also hopes to continue partnering with CECyTEC to expand the use of the lab to offer workshops by Bendix employees and summer STEM courses for children in the community.
“We gave much thought to what will allow the students at CECyTEC – where the focus on industrial production meshes so well with Bendix – to enter the workforce better prepared for what they’ll encounter in a production setting,” Gutierrez says. “Our approach is to provide learning opportunities in a state-of-the-art industrial lab setting – to help give students the tools they need to succeed and potentially advance into leadership roles.”