BETHEL, VT – In response to a growing regional and national skilled labor shortage, GW Plastics is leading the way in workforce training, career development, and community educational outreach. Through a series of innovative and collaborative internship programs, apprenticeships, and internal training solutions, GW Plastics is working towards ensuring a sustainable pipeline of skilled workers. These innovations allow their company to remain competitive in the global marketplace while providing high-paying jobs for Vermonters.
GW Plastics’ workforce training and development begins at the high school level. This year, the company began the GW Plastics “School of Tech”, where local students from Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vermont are bused to GW Plastics’ state-of-the-art facilities for a semester-long course focused on manufacturing technology. “It is very difficult to find a high school shop class nowadays that provides relevant training in our industry,” says Cathy Tempesta, GW Plastics Director of Human Resources. “There are very limited ways for students to become exposed to the world of manufacturing, so we launched our own ‘school’ in order to make manufacturing attractive again.”
In addition to this, GW Plastics is also funding a scholarship program, The GW Plastics’ Carl Symonds Memorial Scholarship, in partnership with Vermont Technical College. Students enrolling in Vermont Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program are eligible for a GW-funded scholarship each semester in addition to a paid summer internship at GW Plastics. “Between our scholarship program and paid internship, in collaboration with Vermont Tech and the State of Vermont, it is possible for a student to completely cover the tuition cost of their Associate’s Degree. Not only are we helping to pay for their education, but we are also providing students with real-life, on-the-job training through a paid internship resulting in a job upon graduation,” says Brenan Riehl, GW Plastics President and CEO. “For students who may not have thought college and a rewarding career path were financially attainable, this can be life-changing. We are fortunate to have built a strong partnership with Vermont Technical College, a leader in applied technical education for manufacturing.”
GW Plastics does not stop at just educating Vermont’s youth. The company also offers a Manufacturing Technology Leadership Program, where current employees are eligible to further develop their skills through courses at Vermont Tech. Awarded to employees who have strong technical leadership potential, GW Plastics pays for one class per semester over four years so that employees entering the industry obtain valuable technical knowledge, paving the way to an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Participants receive a bonus at the end of each semester and a 10% raise upon graduation. GW Plastics also offers a formal Toolmaker Apprenticeship Program at its Mold Making Division as well as Scientific Molding training and certification at each of their state-of-the-art facilities. Every apprentice is matched up with a master molder to continue expanding their knowledge.
The company also participates in community and national events, including National Manufacturing Day. This annual event helps to bring attention to the country-wide skilled labor shortage by encouraging manufacturers to open their doors to local students, community members, and government officials to demonstrate the advantages of a career in manufacturing. By working alongside other manufacturers, GW Plastics hopes to connect with future generations and ensure ongoing interest in manufacturing. “We are fortunate to have a long-tenured and engaged workforce,” says Riehl. “As such, GW Plastics and other manufacturers must be ready for the pending retirements of an entire generation of skilled manufacturing workers exiting the workplace. With our company rapidly growing and serving highly-sophisticated Fortune 1000 customers, we need to have an adequate bench-strength of skilled employees. Participating in these types of events is crucial to community awareness and the success of our company, our customers, and industry.”
To learn more about GW Plastics’ workforce training initiatives, please contact Cathy Tempesta at Cathy.Tempesta@GWPlastics.com or visit their website at www.GWPlastics.com. For more information about Vermont Technical College, please contact Maureen Hebert at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.vtc.edu.
About GW Plastics:
Since its foundation in 1955, GW Plastics has earned a reputation as a leader in precision injection molding and contract manufacturing serving the world’s most successful companies in the healthcare, automotive safety, and consumer/industrial markets. Specializing in complex injection molded thermoplastic and silicone solutions, GW Plastics excels at close tolerance mold building, precision injection molding, and contract assembly. Core competencies include product development, in-house precision tooling, scientific molding, and automated assembly. With leading-edge technologies, a Six Sigma quality commitment, and a relentless pursuit of innovation, GW Plastics continues to attract and delight industry-leading market leaders who seek consistency of ownership, financial stability, a professional leadership team, and a workforce with the experience to deliver on-time and within budget. Headquartered in Bethel, Vermont, the company’s standardized ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, ISO/TS 16949 and FDA-registered manufacturing facilities are located in Bethel and Royalton, Vermont; San Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; Querétaro, Mexico; and Dongguan, China.
For more information, contact:
Inside Sales and Marketing Coordinator
GW Plastics, Inc.
239 Pleasant Street
Bethel, VT 05032