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Last week, TerraSource Global embarked on a unique and ambitious public/private partnership with Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in Belleville, IL, to help drive the necessary development of skilled welders, machinists and assemblers. Using established industry standards set by the American Welding Society and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, TerraSource’s Vice-President of Operations and Supply Chain, Jeff Horvath, has created a comprehensive career-development program that includes both internships and apprenticeships for aspiring workers, as well as advanced training options for more seasoned professionals. This program includes such vital components as working with the US Department of Labor and local governments to secure vocational funding grants for classroom training and certification as well as offering participants actual onsite apprenticeship and mentoring opportunities in their specific interest area at TerraSource’s Belleville production facility.
TerraSource is growing fast, and the company needs an influx of highly-qualified welders, machinists and assemblers to help the company drive faster production and delivery times while ensuring our products retain their well-earned reputation for quality and performance. Not only is the current labor market tight but many people are not choosing to pursue a career in key manufacturing functions such as welding and machining. As such, our company realized that we needed to proactively develop manufacturing professionals and offer these people not just a job, but a real long-term commitment to both their professional and personal development.
TerraSource has always been dedicated to investing in our people and communities, and this new program is kicking that pledge into overdrive, putting forward the necessary resources to create a real, long-term and dynamic learning and development infrastructure that is a win-win for all those involved. For TerraSource, we will get skilled people excited about and dedicated to a growth-focused career in manufacturing. For local colleges and vocational institutions, they get a true corporate partnership that provides guidance on the most viable real-world skills students need and a conduit through which students can find meaningful and well-paid jobs in their chosen profession.
A common refrain we heard while talking to many of the people currently working in welding, assembly and machining functions at other manufacturers is that these individuals felt “stuck” in their present roles, with flat wages and no real opportunities to advance or take on additional. Needless to say, they were very enthusiastic about the program TerraSource is developing, which promises:
TerraSource’s National Apprencticeship Program for Machine Builders, Machinists, and Welders has been awarded full certification by the US Department of Labor. The program has been so well received that it is now being formalized by the Illinois state government as a model that can be used with other training institutions and private partners across the state. Not only has Jeff formed a great working relationship with Mark Bosworth, SWIC’s Technical Education Division Coordinator, but he is looking to approach other local vocational institutions about implementing this type of development program as well. All told, TerraSource is tremendously excited by the potential of our new vocational development initiative to provide real opportunities to hard-working people who desire a meaningful career in an organization that values quality and purpose every day.
If you are interested in TerraSource’s vocational development program in the St. Louis and Southern Illinois region, or if you are interested in a career with TerraSource, we encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Barb Youmans at 618-641-6988.
By: Jack Vivrett
Head of Global Marketing Communications