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Weyerhaeuser employees complete training program|
By Michele Moyer
| Employees of one of Elk Countys largest manufacturers have completed an extensive workforce training program designed to help them be more productive in todays increasingly competitive global market.|
Forty-eight employees of the Weyerhaeuser paper plant in Johnsonburg, Pa., graduated from a leadership development program offered by Penn State DuBois Continuing Education in partnership with Penn State Management Development Programs and Services.
Today, manufacturers have to learn to do more with less, William Keswick, manager of engineering at Weyerhaeuser, said. But to accomplish more, you need additional skills. Penn State training is the most economical way for our employees to gain these valuable new skill sets.
The employees who took part in the training included crew leaders and support personnel. The training was offered over 12 months and featured 48 hours of class time in a variety of subjects, ranging from performance management and coaching to time and meeting management, delegation, team development, communication and problem solving.
This is the second time in just three years the Johnsonburg facility has invested in Penn State training for its employees. In 2000, 73 of the plants team leaders and supervisors completed the same leadership development program.
This is a continuation of what we began back then, Keswick noted. Until that time, the mill had invested heavily in hands-on training for our machinery and process equipment, but we realized that growing competition meant we had to invest in our employees leadership and management skills, too. The competition out there is tough. All the paper mills can essentially buy the same equipment and use it in the same way, but the company with the best-trained people will produce the best product.
Penn State designed the training program to meet Weyerhaeusers specific needs.
What makes our training programs so unique and successful is that theyre customized to fill a clients individual needs, John Blasdell, Penn State DuBois Continuing Education representative, said. Although we have literally offered hundreds of training programs, no two are ever alike. Courses are tailored for the individual client and offered at times and places convenient for them. For Weyerhaeuser, this meant sending Penn State faculty to Johnsonburg to conduct classes one day a week between 7 and 11 a.m. to accommodate the plants shift schedules.
In addition to offering a customized curriculum, clients benefit from Penn State instructors dedicated solely to offering workforce management courses to adult learners.
Penn State DuBois Continuing Education is the regions direct link to Penn State Management Development Programs and Services, Blasdell said. This unit delivers training programs all over the world through faculty members who have both on-the-job and academic experience. Having direct access to this level of workforce expertise is a wonderful opportunity for local business and industry.
Dr. Wesley E. Donahue, director of Management Development Programs and Services, believes his unit is a strong ally for Pennsylvania manufacturers. On a recent visit to Johnsonburg, he thanked Weyerhaeuser for making the investment in its employees and in Pennsylvania.
Some fear manufacturing is dying in Pennsylvania, but Weyerhaeuser demonstrates what Penn State already knows. In a competitive industry, it is workforce training that makes the difference, Donahue said. Employees are the organization, and a well-trained workforce with the ability to adapt and be flexible is the most important thing to survival.
An outreach program of Penn State DuBois Continuing Education and Penn State Management Development Programs and Services
Penn State DuBois Continuing Education moves into new home
|Penn State DuBois Continuing Education has relocated from its offices in Hiller Building to a house adjacent to the campus at 312 E. Second Ave. The new Continuing Education House is located behind Symmco House, the campus administrative center, which opened in 2002. Continuing Education has grown in all areas over the past decade, and the new office space will provide us the room we need to sustain this growth, John Piccolo, director of Continuing Education, said.|