Kerr-Tar WDB Incumbent Workforce Development Program Contributes to Businesses Productivity
Another business service administered to local industries by the Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board includes the Incumbent Workforce Development Program. This is a competitive grant program for training that helps avert layoffs through skill attainment for employees or through process improvement that contributes to the competitiveness and productivity of a business. During Program Year 2010-11, the WDB secured funds for one company for $24,779 and maintained one $12,000 contract from last year.
Parker Hannifin – Medical Services Division continues to expand its injection molding operation of medical devices in Granville County, and this year, they trained 22 incumbent workers. Partnering with a plastics molding company was a new endeavor for the WDB; Parker Hannifin is a high-tech industry with specialized equipment, resulting in specific training providers to arrange customized sessions. Five Shift Technicians and a Process Development Specialist received advanced training of Decoupled Molding concepts – injection molding machines, facility processors and components of molding processes, injection molds, citing precautions, and systematic troubleshooting – in order back up supervisors and engineering support when opportunities arise. A. Routsis Associates implemented this interactive training. Parker Hannifin also trained its second Master Molder during this grant period to support the Senior Process Development Specialist. Certification through RJG, Inc. – a national leader in providing this valuable credential – will enable processes to be more efficient and the department to concentrate on quality control, improvements, communication internally and with contractors, expansion, and other training activities throughout the company. Each of the 22 individuals participating in IWDP at Parker Hannifin earned Six Sigma White Belt and Yellow Belt Certificates from Alamance Community College as well. Overall, the company has improved operation efficiencies on the plant floor; learned to estimate projects more accurately and improve record keeping in the production process; and taught technicians, handlers, operators, and supervisors to work collectively in order to increase productivity. This partnership certainly increased profit levels for the company and improved employee moral while averting layoffs that would have been inevitable without the use of IWDP funding.
With $12,000 (half of the total proposed), K-FLEX USA completed the second half of their training activities during Program Year 2010, training 35 individuals (75% more than the original 20 projected to participate). These incumbents upgraded knowledge of Certified Skills Training (CST), key functional and operational skills for manufacturing industries that include teamwork, documentation, and organizational changes. The company as a whole instilled a continuous improvement model to enhance effectiveness. Some quantitative results of the project include one promotion and 4 wage increases up to 5%. Additionally, business was on the upswing while contracting with the WDB, requiring many employees to log overtime hours.