Clark State, McGregor Metal training class successful in retaining employees

Clark State College and McGregor Metal’s training class for employees has been successful in retaining them at the company.

The partnership, between the college’s Workforce and Business Solutions and McGregor, started as a need to upskill the company’s growing technical workforce after they struggled to provide on-the-job training for associates because they didn’t have the resources to do so.

This helped establish a QuickPath learning model, in which the two developed a curriculum, scheduled classes within weeks, and enrolled McGregor’s first group of associates two weeks later.

The Learn to Earn certificate is a four-week, 32-hour training that consists of four employees each month who will go through an introduction weld tech training to take back and use in the facility.

Since the first Weld Tech class last year, the company has had 23 associates either complete or are currently enrolled in the 32-hour course. Of those associates, 87% are still being employed with McGregor.

“I think this success is a testament to our ongoing commitment to identify gaps and developing partnerships with those who are willing to think outside the box to help fill them, like Clark State’s Workforce Development team,” said Erin Neely, training coordinator at McGregor Metal. “(The) team seamlessly continues to help us up-skill our workforce and provides additional opportunities like Leadership and Blueprint Reading classes.”

The content of the class is based on McGregor’s specific training and equipment needs, and associates are given the opportunity to participate in the classroom and through hands-on experiences. Trainings are held twice a week for four weeks at the college’s main campus. There’s currently a waitlist for the course, and the company plans to enroll associates as long as needed.

McGregor employee Dalton Daniel, who recently participated in the course, said he enjoyed the program.

“I could immediately use the skills I learned, like moving the robot the right way and making simple adjustments,” he said. “The instructor was easy to follow, and I liked being in the classroom.”

Through this model, McGregor has successfully established a pathway for employees who want to grow in their careers because a welding specific position can be a barrier for those who want to increase their earnings.

“Clark State workforce development works to meet the training needs of our industry partners,” said Tracy Yates, director of Clark State Workforce and Business Solutions. “The success of the training partnership between McGregor and Clark State is a testament to the power of collaboration.”

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