What started as a need to up-skill McGregor Metal’s growing technical workforce, quickly developed into an innovative partnership with Clark State College Workforce and Business Solutions. When struggling to provide on-the-job training for McGregor’s associates but not having the resources to spare to do so, Clark State eagerly accepted McGregor’s challenge to establish a QuickPath learning model.
Within weeks, McGregor and Clark State developed a curriculum and scheduled classes, enrolling McGregor’s first group of associates just two weeks later.
Since McGregor Metal’s first custom Weld Tech class in April of last year, the company has had 23 associates either complete or are currently enrolled in the 32-hour course. Of those 23 associates, 87 percent of them are still 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.
Class content is based on McGregor’s specific training and equipment needs and associates are given the opportunity to participate both in the classroom and through hands-on experiences.
Dalton Daniel, a McGregor employee and recent participant in the custom weld course, said he enjoyed participating in 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.”
The trainings are held twice a week for four weeks at the Clark State main campus in Springfield. McGregor plans to continue enrolling associates as long as the need exists. Currently, there are still associates on the wait list.
“Clark State’s Workforce Development team seamlessly continues to help us up-skill our workforce and provides additional opportunities like Leadership and Blueprint Reading classes. McGregor Metal looks forward to our ongoing partnership and finding more ways to engage our associates,” said Neely.
With the Learn-to-Earn model, McGregor Metal has successfully established a pathway for employees with the aptitude and desire to grow in their careers. The company stated that a welding specific position can be a barrier for employees 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.”