RENEW Continues to be Resource for Local Companies
March 14, 2013
Project RENEW Continues to be Resource for Local Companies
Next Manufacturing Certification Class Begins May 7BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (March 14, 2013) – Environmental Inks is in the process of expanding and will soon add 18 jobs at their Morganton facility. Company officials were optimistic about their growth but found their selves asking, “Where are we going to find the employees we need?” With several years of high unemployment in our region, most would assume that local companies are having no problem filling open jobs; however, that is not the case. In just a few short months Environmental Inks had seen 40 different entry level employees walk away from eight open positions. This isn’t abnormal. Most Burke County manufacturers will tell you they can’t find good employees and that open jobs go unfilled. In 2012 BDI began Project RENEW to address this problem and has successfully matched many employees with local manufacturing companies. Perhaps the most shocking factor in this maddening situation is that Environmental Inks, like many local manufacturing facilities, offers good pay, great benefits and opportunities for advancement. One RENEW graduate who has been at Environmental Inks for nine months is seeing this first hand. “I started out in pour-off and have been moved up to small batch already, “ said Sherman Corpening, 40. “The RENEW program has done wonders for me. I don’t think I would have even gotten a job if I had not taken the class. I was hired as soon as I finished the program.” Environmental Inks now has four RENEW graduates employed at their facility and Head of SCM-Operations Kenny Keathley says program participants have the drive and commitment level the company is looking for. “If they go through the program and finish it then they will probably take that same outlook with their job. They will show up, be committed and follow through. That is the type of entry level employee we are looking for.” RENEW graduates complete the program with four nationally recognized certifications including OSHA 10 and Career Readiness Certification. Class topics include: Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, ISO 9000, CNC Machining, Blue Print Reading and Team Building. For Environmental Inks this equals cost savings. “It is less training that we have to do once we have them in the door,” explained Keathley. “Somebody could be the best worker in the world but if they don’t have some initial training on what it is like to work in a modern manufacturing facility then they won’t be able to do the job. It also helps give us a clear understanding of what we are getting and what the employee already knows.” For Sherman Corpening the program has given him a leg up when it comes to his awareness and skill level. It has also helped him find a steady career with a company he says he will stay with hopefully until he retires. “I can’t even explain what the program did for me,” he added. “I’m making my bills now. Before the class I was wondering how I was going to make it. Now I get up in the morning and come to work. I don’t have to worry about the next day. I know where I am going to be and what I’m going to be doing and that feels good.” BDI is now accepting applicants for the next RENEW class, which begins May 7. Two information sessions will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 9:00am and 6:00pm at the Foothills Higher Education Center Rooms 212 and 213. The program is free for applicants who are unemployed or underemployed. Anyone interested in registering for the program can sign up during the information sessions and are encouraged to call RENEW Program Manager Alona Forney at 828.448.5299 prior to the information sessions to learn about the application process. For additional information about Project RENEW, including how your company can become a partner and hire RENEW graduates, please visit www.burkedevinc.com/renew. About Project RENEW Project RENEW is a unique, workforce development program supported by a grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The program is a 96-hour course that prepares graduates for an entry level position in manufacturing. Participants can choose between the morning (9:00am-12:00pm) and evening (6:00-9:00pm) class. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Participants must also complete an HRD class in addition to the 96-hour course. About Burke Development, Inc. Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.
###Contact: Sara Chester 828.674.3141