A Plainview nonprofit that trains manufacturers to operate state-of-the-art equipment used to make lightweight composite components has landed a new tenant and educational partner.
The Composite Prototyping Center, which serves as a training and test facility for manufacturers wanting to use composite materials in their products, will be the East Coast home of Abaris Training Resources, a Reno, Nevada-based company with classrooms across the country.
Abaris previously operated its East Coast training classes in Griffin, Georgia.
“They’re the largest training company for composites in the world,” CPC executive director Leonard Poveromo said. Abaris will help elevate the profile of the center with manufacturers, he said.
“I hope that we will establish ourselves as a center for training and workforce development in composite training,” he said.
The use of composites, which include materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar, has become increasingly popular in manufacturing, especially in the design and assembly of planes.
Abaris, founded in 1983, provides training for engineers and technicians in the aerospace, automotive, marine and green energy sectors, and has instructed more than 24,000 students. The company has instructed technicians at JetBlue, Boeing, SpaceX, the Federal Aviation Administration and across branches of the U.S. military, said Michael Hoke, president of Abaris.
Abaris, which moved in last week, has 13 employees and will host its first class in August.
The deal with CPC allows Abaris to occupy a portion of the CPC’s 25,000-square-foot facility and gives the company and its trainers access to the center’s equipment. The training company hopes to develop more classes using the Plainview organization’s more sophisticated machinery.
“I think our training will really help to expand the advanced composite industry on Long Island,” Hoke said. “We’re definitely seeing growth in our business.”
There are an estimated 3,000 manufacturers on Long Island, with 220 to 250 involved in the aerospace or defense industries, according to the Manufacturing Consortium of Long Island, a trade group.
Anne Shybunko-Moore, owner and chief executive of GSE Dynamics Inc., a Hauppauge-based defense manufacturer, said the use of composites has allowed her business to expand and remain competitive.
"That was the way the industry was going," said Shybunko-Moore, whose company began working with composites in 2004 and whose customers include the U.S. Navy and Air Force. "I was able to grow my business quite a bit."
Finding qualified technicians to work in composites has been a challenge, she said. Shybunko-Moore called Abaris' move to the Island a "regional bonus."
Abaris students will come to Plainview from across the country to attend the company's classes, which usually last a week. Aerospace manufacturers, for example, are looking for ways to increase the durability of components while reducing their weight in an effort to increase fuel efficiency, Poveromo said.
“It’s a multibillion-dollar industry; however it is a young industry,” he said. “This next generation is going to be an age of composite materials. Everything in metal now, if possible, will be composite.”