Lacey Kastel, the environmental health and safety leader at Dallas’s Owens-Corning facility, recently talked about the program.
“Prior to the construction of our plant and hiring our employees, we started a partnership with Gaston College,” said Kastel. “Safety training was an important part of our hiring process. The college helped us to target the top candidates we wanted to hire through a training process that gave us an opportunity to see employees on the floor and working with equipment. Our employees were much more prepared and ready to interact with equipment and components.
“It’s a smooth transition each year with our partnership,” she added, “and our safety department does not miss a beat. Gaston College is very open to feedback. We tell them if we have a problem with an instructor or the training. They want to know how they can do better, and they do what is best to meet our expectations.”
Laurie McGee is the human resources generalist for Hydac in Denver.
“Customized training was pretty unique overall for Hydac,” said McGee. “We have many locations around the world. But we are the only division in the U.S. that does the cooling aspect. We produce a unique product for our customers, so our training has to be specific.
“For our management team, the college’s training customization, flexibility and resources are the real draw,” she continued. “We are grateful for this partnership, because we are able to provide training for employees at no cost to our company.”
Maureen Little, the vice president of economic development for N.C. Community Colleges, also commented.
“Each year,” said Little, “Gaston College’s customized training team is a leader across our 58 community colleges in serving business and industry. This year is no different, with 16 active projects and three that are completed. Employers in Gaston and Lincoln counties know to turn to Gaston College for assistance when they have work force concerns, and the college continually delivers. These partnerships are yielding a greater economic impact for the two counties, the region and the state of North Carolina.”
Business and industry companies that would like to develop a partnership with the college’s customized training program should contact the Gaston College Center for Work Force Excellence by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (704) 922-6447.
You can also reach business and industry training services by contacting associate vice president Dr. Justin Arnold, also at the center, by e-mail or telephone respectively at email@example.com or (704) 922-6448.
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