BALDWYN – When Itawamba Community College launched a work force development program geared toward high-demand, high-skilled positions, Brian Bryant jumped on the idea.
Bryant, the plant manager for Advanced Innovations, said the Manufacturing Skills Basic Certification program suited his company’s needs perfectly.
“We had a couple of motives in participating,” he said. “First, it was an opportunity to have on-site training for our employees, to help develop a core group. And the bigger picture is that we’re developing our manufacturing skills and raising the bar higher.”
Walisa Jeffries, who keeps track of inventory at the company as a cycle counter, said, “I learned some things I didn’t know and hopefully it will help us in the factory.”
70 hours of training
She was among 13 employees at Advanced Innovations who completed about 70 hours of training, spending four hours a week since January.
The MSBC program includes OSHA safety training, blue print reading, CPR training, precision measurement, basic math and metrics and high-performance manufacturing.
Advanced Innovations, which employs about 200 people, makes “memory foam” for mattresses and pillows. Its products are sold by retailers including Walmart, Sam’s, Costco and Kohl’s.
In addition to classroom work, participants learn more about what their colleagues do.
The program “helped put everybody on the same page,” said Tammy Sparks, a saw operator.
Jason Newell has received most of his training in maintenance and considered the MSBC program as a chance to hone his skills.
“I wanted to learn more about production and what else there was to see what I could do,” he said.
At a ceremony honoring the first batch of “graduates” from the Manufacturing Skills Basic Certification program, Bryan told them he was proud of them.
“This is the first stage of not only improving this plant,” he said, “but the manufacturing community as a whole,” he said.
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal