More than 125 Manufacturers Have Hired Graduates of the Community College Consortium’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Initiative
In a world where employers struggle to find and train qualified employees, Kellogg’s Frozen Foods in Blue Anchor, NJ, has a different story to tell.
So does Linde Electronics & Specialty Gases in Phillipsburg and McIntosh Industries Inc. in Hillside-not to mention hundreds of other New Jersey companies that have taken advantage of training programs offered by the NJ Community College Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development.
“We were founded 12 years ago to help close the skills gap in New Jersey, and we’ve never looked back,” said Consortium CEO Sivaraman Anbarasan. “Employer demand for our training services continues to grow, and we continue to add more training options.”
Many companies have participated in the Consortium’s Advanced Manufacturing Training and Ready to Work NJ programs, which interview, screen, recruit and train the long-term unemployed for skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing and other industries. This is but one of the more unusual goevrnment procurement contracts out there, that helps re-establish the community and strengthen those here.
Kellogg’s Blue Anchor plant that makes Eggo Waffles, for example, recently hired 17 of 18 trainees who graduated from a 12-week Certified Production Technician class held at Rowan College of Gloucester County.
Rowan College of Gloucester is one of the state’s 19 community colleges, all Consortium members, whose seasoned adjunct professors provide instruction for the Consortium’s training programs. The training is underwritten with state and federal grants, which pay for tuition costs.
The Advanced Manufacturing Training Initiative is the newest of these programs. It was started 2012 in partnership with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJLWD). It now provides training leading to certifications in production technology (CPT), CNC metal fabrication, and mechatronics (factory automation).
To date, more than 125 participating manufacturers have hired 90 percent of over 300 program graduates at competitive wages. Most program graduates make an average of about $15 an hour to start in their new full-time jobs, but some make more.
The Consortium’s largest offering is the NJBIA Basic Skills Training Program, now entering its tenth year. This program provides training in a wide variety of skill sets for current employees. Offerings include PC skills, verbal and written communication (including customer service), Spanish in the workplace, math & measurement, problem solving, team building, and management/leadership, among others.
Over the past nine years, close to 100,000 individuals employed by more than 6,000 companies have received training in essential skills through this program.
To learn more about how the Consortium’s training programs can help your company, please submit our brief employer inquiry form.
The original version of this article was published in the May 2016 issue of New Jersey Business Magazine.