At his previous position at North American Composites (NAC), Fred Watson set out to help the company achieve an honor that no one else had managed to reach before: helping 100 percent of its employees become Certified Composites Technicians (CCT). Recently, NAC completed that mission, and Watson has seen NAC’s potential and capabilities grow.
Now on his way to increasing CCT certification at Graco, Watson talked with Composites Manufacturing Interviews about why he set this goal and the impact it has had for NAC.
What drove you to set the goal of making North American Composites 100 percent CCT certified? Why do you think certification is important?
When reviewing the distributors for the composites industry, I found not one that could make the bold statement of being 100 percent CCT certified. As I have always been one to accept a challenge, I felt it was time for NAC to step up and be a leading force in the composite industry. The CCT credentials are extremely important if you plan on servicing the composite industry as an asset of value to your customer base. There is a big difference in being value added for customers, or just being an order- taker.
What benefits have you seen in North American Composites’ employees and the company as a whole since more employees became certified?
Some of the extended benefits for NAC have been the new security level for problem solving. All of NAC’s employees are able to discuss all aspects of composites to those interested in learning more advanced uses of both material and application methods. The more knowledge one gains, the higher the interaction of dialogue between parties for successful composite projects. NAC has also seen new projects accepted throughout the industry. NAC can now offer more for the future vision of composites as a reliable source for growth.
What employee feedback have you heard about the certification process?
Most of the pre-feedback was about a struggle to allocate time for this adventure. However, once each region successfully completed the program, all agreed that they had a new level of understanding for the bigger picture for composites.
How do you think certification and other composites education programs can help advance the industry as a whole?
The CCT program covers the largest areas for composite information. This industry offers a marriage of using the best available materials for future composite projects and best application equipment designs for improving the environment. It is this blend of materials and equipment, combined with the knowledge that ACMA offers that truly projects the future vision of composites worldwide.
For the future leaders and business owners in composites, it always comes down to cost and value added to the company. Continued knowledge and growth of the programs offered by the ACMA will add extra value to any business.