ARAUCO Trains New Staff Thanks To Going PRO Talent Fund Award
The Arauco Grayling Particle Board Plant was headed for completion in early 2019 and was expected to be the most modern particleboard plant in North America and the largest of its kind globally. There was a high demand for skilled trade employees, as well as production employees at the plant in order to operate and maintain the equipment. Arauco worked closely with Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium for initial staffing needs and applied for the Going PRO Talent Fund grants to help with skilled trades training.
With assistance from Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium, Arauco was awarded $293,145 in Going PRO Talent Fund awards slated to be used to hire and train over 200 new employees. Due to weather constraints and construction setbacks, the plant was behind schedule with its completion, but Arauco was still able to utilize $178,250 of their Going PRO Talent Fund award to train 131 new employees. Four of the new hires were veterans.
In addition to an intensive hiring process and onboarding training program, the new hires had extensive on-the-job training. New hires included Operators, Mechanical Maintenance & Millwrights, Admin Assistants, Supervisors, Electricians, Automation Specialists/Programmers, Shipping and Receiving, and more. The whole plant was staffed and most received training thanks to the Going PRO Talent Fund. In addition to job specific training, all were trained in the equipment and processes used in the mill.
“The technologies involved in operating and running this new state of the art particle board plant absolutely require technically skilled employees,” reports Renee Reed, Training Administrator. “In the absence of such employees it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to commission the mill equipment and maintain it properly for the long term.”
“[With] the pool of qualified candidates in this economically-challenged region and the low unemployment rate, we are finding it difficult to onboard fully-trained candidates,” continued Reed. “Our new facility will offer good paying jobs for people to remain in the community and make a good living for themselves and their families.”