NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology, in partnership with Reliability Solutions and Natchitoches Community Alliance, offered professional training to 17 employees from BEMIS, CLECO, Kisatchie Treating and four different Weyerhaeuser plants last week. The joint class offering is part of an agreement NSU has with Reliability Solutions a company that delivers training tailored to the specific needs of manufacturing companies, to use Northwestern State facilities while allowing NSU faculty, staff and students to audit the sessions. The partnership aligns with the university’s efforts to match a trained workforce with high-paying jobs available in high tech manufacturing.
The training entitled “Essential Craft Skills- Field Preparation” brought a scientific hands-on approach to conducting maintenance activities, according to Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.
“The class was a great experience, and a wonderful start to the joint offering,” Ahmad said. “Two more classes will be offered in February, more are scheduled for 2015 and 2016 is under development to service the growing needs of the state in terms of skilled labor force.”
“It was a great experience, and every person there felt that there was great value in what is being offered,” said Tom Carr, RS class instructor.
Participants from the Weyerhaeuser plant in Arcadia were James Butler, Charles Dark, William Heflin, Toby Henderson and Keith Sullivan. Participants from Weyerhaeuser in Zwolle were Darwin Carroll and Donald Stephens. Participants from Weyerhaeuser in Dodson were Gradis Cutchall, Jason Ferguson, Timothy Linn and Jeremy Wilson. Tracy Jordan and Brandi Smith represented the Natchitoches Weyerhaeuser plant.
Other participants were Joseph Caprito II of CLECO Power in Baldwin, Wesley Sepulvado of Kisatchie Treating in Converse and Dewayne Doyle and Jamie Parker of BEMIS in West Monroe.