FDTC helps manufacturing job seekers
Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Corporate and Workforce Development (CWD) division seeks to provide training that keeps a pipeline of skilled workers ready for employment at area companies, as well as to support ongoing workforce development needs of employers in the Pee Dee region. The division is housed at the College’s Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT).
Earlier this year, CWD launched one of its most successful training programs, the Manufacturing Skills: Pre-Employment course. “The Manufacturing Skills classes are designed to equip individuals who are jobless or underemployed with three valuable manufacturing credentials in a fast and efficient manner, providing them an opportunity to be prepared for employment quickly,” said Lauren Holland, Associate Vice President of CWD.
The Manufacturing Skills: Pre-Employment course, which is offered each month, consists of 25 hours of certifications in Forklift Driving, Six Sigma Yellowbelt and OSHA 10 for General Industry. The program is offered during the day, but will be expanded this year to include evening sessions, in order to accommodate individuals who are currently working, but seeking an opportunity for a new career path. On the last two days of each course, employers with hiring needs are invited, and come to interview students for open positions they have within their companies.
Two modifications of the program to provide quick training that will support workforce development and recruitment of employees for both warehousing/logistics and food production industries are currently being explored and developed.
CWD Office Manager Elizabeth Shelton said the program has had much success. Shelton said, “We’ve placed nearly 30 students in jobs since we began the program in March, and employers are thrilled with the program, because where else are they going to see 15 job seekers with these credentials at one time?” Holland said, “This program is a win-win for both employers and jobseekers.”
Three of the Skills Manufacturing programs’ biggest supporters are the Pee Dee Community Action Partnership, South Carolina Works and the state Vocational Rehabilitation Department. Patrick Williamson with the Florence regional office of the state agency said, “The partnership has been great for us because many of our clients are finding better paying skilled jobs.”