Friday, April 12, 2013

Goodwill Industries' Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification program can be the answer for local industries looking for a pipeline of skilled entry-level technicians.

Goodwill Industries’ Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certification Program Helping to Meet Area’s Workforce Needs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            4/12/2013

                                                                                                (By Lisa Garrett)

            PENDLETON  --- Goodwill Industries' Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification program can be the answer for local industries looking for a pipeline of skilled entry-level technicians.

             "It's a business-driven training program," said Becky Godbey, Goodwill's vice president of career development services, about the organization's nine-week training program that consists of a week of work-readiness training and a mix of industry-based basic skills training modules and work experience at local industries.   "We are trying to address the economic issues by helping to meet our area's workforce needs," she added.

            "Completion of the class gives them a certified production technician credential that meets industry standards," said Rick Cothran, dean of Tri-County Technical College's Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division.  Instructors from CCE teach the MSSC classes.  Earning the industry's top national credential, MSSC certification, can give future and incumbent employees a competitive edge and will help to meet industry needs by preparing new workers for entry-level production and fabrication jobs, said Cothran.

             Sixteen under- or unemployed individuals were selected for the program's latest MSSC class taught by Tri-County CCE instructor Tom Humphries.   Participants were chosen from a pool of persons who visited the Goodwill Job Connection offices (located in Anderson and Powdersville) and those who expressed an interest in working in manufacturing and/or applied at a recent job fair held at Tri-County Technical College.

            They participated in information sessions and filled out applications.  They also took the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE), were drug screened and submitted to a background check.  Applicants also wrote essays about why they wanted to work in manufacturing.

            All of these were factors were considered in the selection process, said Godbey.  "It's a rigorous process and we only selected the individuals who we believe we can successfully complete the curriculum and who have earned a silver (level 4) ACT WorkKeys® credential."

            "In conjunction with Tri-County Technical College, we've been running the MSSC training for more than a year with great success," said Godbey.   The program modules focus on basic industry skills such as safety awareness; quality assurance; manufacturing processes and production; and maintenance awareness.  Participants also take a 30-hour work readiness (soft skills) class at the beginning.  "It gives individuals the tools for entering manufacturing jobs - that's where the skills gap is.  Industry needs folks with these specific skills and people need jobs.  Full-time employment is the ultimate goal.  Everybody benefits."

            Goodwill pays for the Tri-County curriculum training and 20 hours of work experience weekly.  The work experience allows them to demonstrate a skill set they are learning in class. Included in the program is work experience at two local industries, Friedrick and Rath and Orian Rugs.  "This on-the-job training gives them an opportunity to prove themselves and to shine," said Godbey.

            Employers are looking for these basic skills but also are looking for the soft skills.  "They are just as important as the technical skills," said Melissa Somers, Goodwill intake specialist.  "Employers tell us they appreciate that Goodwill individuals have these soft skills that contribute to job retention."

            "I want to work and be productive," said Tyrone Watt, of Central, who attended the job fair in January and was selected for the program.   "That's what led me to Goodwill.  This is a great opportunity," said Watt who is doing his on-the-job training as a production technician at Friedrich and Rath.  "This MSSC credential will get my foot in the door."

            Tristen Worley, also a participant who learned about the class at the job fair, said, "I'm not just looking for a job - I'm looking for a career with growth potential."

            "Work is so much a part of who we are," said Godbey.  "This MSSC gives under- and unemployed folks hope --  they can accomplish things and be successful. It's a comprehensive way to prove themselves to the employer that they are a good fit for the job." 

            To learn more about how to get involved with the Goodwill Manufacturing training program, visit a local Goodwill Job Connection. 


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