June 3, 2013

The Dan River Region Collaborative has awarded a $27,600 grant to Patrick Henry Community College to support 12 students in the new certified production technician training program.


“Training a world-class workforce is a central priority of Patrick Henry Community College. The CPT will deliver just that. This funding is greatly appreciated, but more importantly, the partnerships that it represents,” said Angeline Godwin, PHCC president.

A nationally-recognized, portable credential, the CPT prepares individuals for technical production employment in the following critical skill areas: safety awareness, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production and maintenance awareness. The training consists of four modules, which include 140 hours of combined interactive, online training with instructor-led material to help individuals learn the basic skills and knowledge required for technical production jobs.


According to DRRC project director, Julie Brown, students who are motivated to learn through the online platform can advance through the course material at a faster pace.


Cited as a successful training program by Cummins, Harley Davidson Motor Company, Sandia National Laboratories and the governors (current and former) from Texas, Wisconsin and Indiana, the CPT also is being supported by numerous manufacturers in the southern Virginia region, including: RTI International Metals, Inc., Drake Extrusion, Eastman, Nilit America and Commonwealth Laminating.


“We are unable hire employees with nylon extruding experience, so we are very anxious to hire employees with potential. A CPT certification indicates to us that someone took the initiative to complete the training that differentiates them from most. We hope that differentiation translates into an employee with potential," said John Overbeck, human resources manager of Nilit America in Martinsville.


While the training is designed to help individuals with essential skills, the ultimate goal is to help companies be successful.


"We have long recognized the need for a closer relationship with training providers to help provide the right skills to meet our advanced manufacturing needs. This program is designed to provide a strong skill background to help our business continue to grow and expand within the region," said John Parkinson, President and CEO of Drake Extrusion, Inc., in Martinsville.


"Drake Extrusion Inc. is committed to providing opportunities for graduates of this program as we believe we can provide an excellent career opportunity within an industry leading organization," added Parkinson.


According to Brown, individuals who earn the CPT certification can anticipate an average starting wage of $12 per hour with a pathway to prepare them for advanced, high-performance production employment with an earning potential of over $17 per hour.


“The Dan River Region Collaborative supports PHCC’s training effort, in partnership with regional manufacturers, as an example of short-term, employer-valued training that can quickly train workers for in-demand jobs. This effort validates our region’s ability to work together and leverage public and private dollars to support workforce initiatives critical to our region’s economic success,” said Brown.


To be eligible for the program, participants must earn the silver level on the National Career Readiness Certificate, which will be administered by PHCC or can be completed through Danville Community College and Southside Virginia Community College.


Students also should have computer literacy skills. Classes will begin on Monday, June 17, at PHCC with an orientation to the online platform.


To learn more about the program, contact Brenell Thomas, PHCC, at 276-656-0267.


By Dan River Region Collaborative newsadvance.com