Central Community College Training and Development Team is leading and implementing an exciting and rewarding workforce solution entitled, “Columbus Works: Outstanding Collaboration to Train Dislocated and Retained Workers Simultaneously”.
Doug Pauley, Training and Development Director, says this initiative was born out of a need created on October 2015 when Cargill Value Added Meats announced plans for a December 2015 shutdown of its Columbus ground beef patty production facility to implement a $111 million-dollar conversion to a cooked meats facility.
Rather than abandon 200 employees for six months, Cargill retained 120 employees during the plant conversion and enrolled them in classes. The other employees received the option to transfer to another Cargill facility or be laid off.
The dislocated workers had the opportunity to participate in the training at no cost if they committed to attending training five days a week for six to nine months. Workforce Development granted an exception for the dislocated workers that chose to participate in the training. They received unemployment benefits and didn’t have to look for a new job while enrolled in the training program. Approximately 45 dislocated workers chose to enroll in the customized training to upgrade their skills as well as getting hired back once the plant was in full production.
The Central Community College Training and Development Team collaborated with Cargill and the Nebraska Department of Labor, Education and Economic Development to develop a comprehensive training program to serve both the retained and dislocated workers. In less than three months, the Training and Development Team built a training program from a concept, hired and scheduled 20 instructors, located classrooms, materials, and computers. The Training and Development Team assessed approximately 170 people to determine what training programs would be most effective.
The project is reaping many rewards. The new approach to training dislocated and retained workers simultaneously in a block format is resulting in increased individual test scores, and the workers’ attitudes and perception with regard to attending community college classes is very positive.
Because no special or one-time grant funding was used to support program development and roll-out, the initiative could be highly replicated in any community, if the right partners come together with a common goal. Because of the positive effects of this program Cargill is continuing to invest in offering these classes before and after work.
LERN was pleased to present the Best Contract Training Sales Solution Award to the Central Community College Training and Development Team for being collaborative and responsive in providing a critical solution. Doug Pauley accepted the award at the 2018 Contract Training Conference.