- Skills deficit has created hiring challenges at area manufacturing facilities
- Continental training program partners with local community college to create pipeline of machinists for local manufacturing community
- Program illustrates Continental’s commitment to employee development and growth
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Continental Newport News celebrated the graduates of its recently launched training program designed to address a skills deficit in manufacturing. Developed in partnership with nearby Thomas Nelson Community College, the training program specifically addresses the need for skilled machinists in the area.
“The pool of available skilled machinists to recruit and hire was low to non-existent in the community,” said Daniel Coyne, manager of Human Relations at Newport News. “With a lack of educational programs for individuals to pursue careers in machining, it became clear that we needed to partner with educational institutions to build up this critical labor pool.”
Continental and Thomas Nelson partnered to create a training program that combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience, all taking place onsite at Continental Newport News. Six employees recently completed the 8-month program, consisting of two 16-week semesters. Along with new expertise, they received accreditation in precision machining from Thomas Nelson, and earned a National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification.
“Our new machining program is an example of our commitment to make sure our employees have opportunities to gain the knowledge and expertise they need to develop their careers at Continental,” Coyne added.
While the first graduates of the program were Continental employees, the training is open to Thomas Nelson students currently unaffiliated with the company. While the training and instruction both take place at Continental, the accreditation and NIMS certification can apply to machining positions at any company in need.
"Partnerships of industry and education, like the machining program created by Continental and Thomas Nelson, leverage technical knowledge and resources to develop highly skilled technical talent to meet critical labor shortages,” said Stuart Harris, Advanced Integrated Manufacturing, Thomas Nelson. “Maintaining Hampton Roads’ technological and economic advantage hinges on developing and expanding innovative partnerships like this one to grow our own highly skilled technical workforce.”
Click here to learn more about the program.