Rapid Response Team
When Daimler Trucks North America announced in February that it would be laying off approximately 700 workers from its Mount Holly plant, the Gaston College Rapid Response Team sprang into action. The team, in partnership with the N.C. Governor’s Rapid Response team, assists dislocated workers with training resources.
Authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Governor’s Rapid Response is an early intervention initiative that provides transitional services for dislocated workers and employers affected by layoffs or closures within the state, regardless of the reasons. Gaston College has been a partner in this collaborative effort since the program’s inception. Other participating organizations are the local Workforce Development Board, the Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions, and the local NCWorks Career Center.
The goal of the Rapid Response Team is to give dislocated workers options and information on resources that are available to help them be trained or retrained and to help them re-enter the workforce. The Gaston College team last worked with the 157 employees dislocated by the spring 2015 closing of the Mohican Mills plant in Lincolnton. The Workforce Development Board paid all tuition, fees, and expenses for the dislocated workers who chose to attend Gaston College in pursuit of a certificate or diploma.
Upon receipt of Daimler’s notification of the temporary layoffs at its Mount Holly truck manufacturing plant, the Division of Workforce Solutions contacted the local Workforce Development Board and the board reached out to the Rapid Response Team members. A preliminary meeting was held between Daimler management and a Rapid Response Team member to determine a course of action, and meetings with affected Daimler employees and representatives from the Rapid Response Team organizations will take place on March 19.
The Gaston College team includes Donna Blake, Beth Hollars, and Diane Metcalfe from the Continuing Education Department, and Jennifer Nichols and Tanisha Williams from Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. They will inform the dislocated workers about the credit and non-credit programs at Gaston College that are available to them, and will guide them through the enrollment process.
Once such program, offered by the Gaston College Continuing Education Department, is the Manufacturing Boot Camp, a two-module, 40-hour program designed to prepare individuals for entry level positions in Advanced Manufacturing. The program will provide participants with the training manufacturers have indicated are vital for success.
The Module One topics include building Cohesive Teams, Developing Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills, Communication and Active Listening, Problem Solving, and Creating Effective Resumes’.
Module Two topics include Math and Measurements, Computer Skills for the Workplace, Principles of Manufacturing, and Sharpening Your Interviewing Skills.
Also, Boot Camp participants will be provided an opportunity to receive the National Career Readiness Certificate, a nationally recognized credential confirming the recipients’ abilities in Math, Reading for Information, and Locating Information-skills employers noted are essential to success in the workplace.
Tuition is free for unemployed and underemployed individuals. For More information contact your local NCWorks Career Center or Gaston College’s Occupational and Continuing Education at 704.922.2244
“The Gaston College Rapid Response team is proud to be part of this important initiative that helps put dislocated workers on the path back to employment,” said Diane Metcalfe, Director of Occupational and Continuing Education. “With the improving economy, we are not called upon frequently, but we are ready to serve where and when we are needed.”