Medtronic, junior college collaborate on machining coursework

Manufacturing UpdateSept. 3, 2012

Innovation driving small companies

Medtronic, junior college collaborate on machining coursework

Manufacturing: Plant expansions head toward completion

SANTA ROSA -- The Medtronic CardioVascular division in Santa Rosa is beefing up its manufacturing operations to turn out more prototypes more quickly, according to endovascular therapies R&D lab manager Joe Wilson.

About 30 Medtronic technicians completed the first two semesters of a machining course at the Santa Rosa Junior College and are ready to begin the next course in the fall. Other employees are waiting to begin the training.

In addition to bringing more manufacturing in-house Medtronic is assuring itself a supply of machine-savvy workers, hard to find now that there are fewer high school industrial shop classes due to lack of funding and increased emphasis on academics.  

[caption id="attachment_60993" align="alignleft" width="360"] Medtronic employees hone their milling and lathing skills at the Santa Rosa Junior College.[/caption]

“We looked around at our lab operations and saw we were depending on other companies to supply most of our basic manufacturing,” said Mr. Wilson, a 13-year veteran of Medtronic’s endovascular operations.  “We have lots of very smart technicians and engineers, but we were badly lacking in basic metal-working skills.”

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