Full-Time Wages Paid for Work and Class Time to Prep for the HiSET Test
CHARLESTON, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Wacker Chemical Company, with operations here, is honoring hourly team members enrolled in the company’s novel technical operations program (TOP). This innovative recruiting program is a strategic initiative developed by Wacker-Charleston’s Human Resources (HR) Training and Development Department to broaden the pool to identify career-oriented candidates without high school diplomas to fill hourly roles within the company. The company pays TOP trainees while they attend classes to prepare for the HiSET program for high school equivalency testing to earn their high school diplomas.
“I am glad we have improved our recruiting pool while providing significant help to our community,” said Wacker-Charleston Site Director Ken Collins. “The TOP program is a genuine win-win, providing Wacker with great employees and new career opportunities not previously available for members of our community. We appreciate the partnerships that have made this program possible.”
The journey for a TOPs program trainee begins with Randstad, a global staffing and recruiting agency with an office in Cleveland, Tenn., specializing in the manufacturing, logistics, office, and administration industries. They help Wacker-Charleston recruit a cohort of 7-10 individuals lacking high school diplomas who desire a career opportunity. Through Randstad, TOPs program participants work with Wacker for up to six months. During the program, a typical workday begins at 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, program participants attend class for a minimum of four hours per day, equivalent to eight-hours-per week. For 24 hours, participants work in a Technical Operator position on the site and are assigned a current Wacker team member as a buddy.
“After passing the HiSET test,” says Olga Santos, Training & Development Manager, and Program Lead, “participants are given the opportunity to apply for an entry-level full-time Technical Operator position with Wacker that comes with benefits and bonus incentives. Additionally, they are now eligible to enroll in career development programs – offered in collaboration with our partners at Chattanooga State Technical Community College and Cleveland State Community College.”
“Partnership leads to progress, and this group of Adult Education graduates at Wacker is tangible proof of that fact,” said Deniece Thomas, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Making Adult Education easily accessible is the key to success. Wacker is a great example of a Tennessee employer utilizing resources the state and its Adult Education partners make available at no cost to grow its own qualified workforce.”
Cleveland State Community College’s Workforce Development program trains over 500 people each year, many of whom do not have a high school diploma. Students enrolled in degree programs at the college must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
“Cleveland State Community College applauds Wacker’s commitment to furthering the education of their employees. Individuals in the company’s TOPs program can obtain a high school equivalency diploma while working, benefiting both the individuals and the company,” said Dr. John Squires, executive director for advancement and planning at Cleveland State Community College. “Wacker-Charleston’s TOPs program is made possible by partnering with Cleveland State’s Adult Education Program and serves as a model for employers throughout the state in meeting education and workforce training needs.”
“Regardless of a candidate’s academic credentials, we have removed a significant recruiting barrier to having a broader pool to attract and retain new team members and increase their career development and advancement opportunities,” said Teri Cassem, HR director at Wacker-Charleston. “This is an exciting initiative that the Training & Development Manager and internal Wacker stakeholders have worked on for quite some time. And, through the strong collaboration with Randstad and our adult education partners: Cleveland State Community College Adult Education Program and the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Adult Education Program, this initiative is a trifecta for our company, our TOPs program team members, and society.”
Wacker-Charleston manufactures hyper-pure polysilicon and pyrogenic silica. Hyper-pure polysilicon is used in semi-conductors and high-efficiency solar cells. Pyrogenic silica is used as an important formulation component for manufacturing silicone rubber. The company began polysilicon production in 2015 and added pyrogenic silica operations in 2019. In the long term, Wacker will continue to grow its Charleston presence, even further expanding its support for customers in the United States, the world’s second-largest chemical market.
Wacker (pronounced Vah-ker)
SOURCE Wacker Chemical Corporation
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/workforce-development-education-and-recruitment-pilot-program-expands-candidate-access-to-hourly-positions-301904711.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com