Success Stories: turning dreams into reality
While best practices help businesses achieve greater goals, they often fulfill a higher purpose: helping people become more successful. Our workforce board members are proud to have helped play even a small role in helping make dreams come true for so many people from North Carolina. These are the best of best practices.
When CertainTeed Corporation, a leading manufacturer of building materials (lap siding, vertical panels, soffit products, trim, and fascia) located in Roaring River, North Carolina, announced the expansion of its operation to include a new paint line, workforce development staff sought a partnership with them using On-the-Job Training (OJT) to assist with the company’s projected creation of 37 new jobs by the end of 2012.
CertainTeed learned about the OJT program shortly after announcing the expansion in October 2011. Human Resources Manager, Gina McDowell, was interested in learning more about the types of assistance available to the company as she began recruiting and hiring new employees. After meeting with local WIA business services representative, Ricky Roten, a plan was developed to assist in the hiring process: hosting a job fair, applicant screening, assessment of existing employee skill levels, and placement of individuals in OJT.
The Wilkes JobLink Career Center hosted a CertainTeed job fair in December 2011, receiving and screening approximately 200 applications. One individual, Dennis Minton, had worked with Dove Air as a utility worker until the company closed in 2010. Dennis was contacted for an interview and offered a position at CertainTeed. With limited experience in manufacturing but good transferrable skills, Dennis was a great candidate for the OJT program.
While Dennis was being trained in his new job, CertainTeed was reimbursed a percentage of his wage creating a “win-win” for both: Dennis was back at work, and CertainTeed was able to offset some of the investment cost of training him. Successfully trained in his new position, Dennis completed his OJT in May 2012 and remains employed at CertainTeed. According to HR Manager, Gina McDowell, he is doing very well. “Some of the best employees we have, came through the OJT program,” Gina said recently. “In addition, the reimbursements through the program have really helped out our bottom line.”
The Wilkes County plant currently employs approximately 110 people – nine of whom were hired through the OJT program during PY 2011.