Berry Plastics partners with VC for Skills Development Fund training

L to R: Frank Watson, Tom Butler, Tom Pauken

Recently, Berry Plastics Holding Corporation & Polymers and Colorants, Inc. began taking advantage of some of the $90 million in Skills Development Fund grant money from the Texas Workforce Commission to help train its employees. The grant was approved for nearly $180,000 and will cover training for 272 of Berry Plastics employees, resulting in just over 13,000 contact hours of course instruction.

Training includes soft skills courses such as Essentials of Leadership, Resolving Conflict and Rapid Decision-making along with various software skills that include Word 2007, Excel 2007 and other computer courses related to the workplace. In addition to courses in general topics, Berry Plastics will also benefit from funding for proprietary training such as Lead Packer, Drawstring Operator and Twist Tie Operator courses.

“Victoria College has a history of partnerships on Skills Development Fund projects with regional petrochemical partners,” said Jennifer Yancey, vice president of College Advancement and External Affairs at VC.  “Combined, these projects have already provided nearly $2.8 million and trained over 2,400 regional workers in both highly technical and soft skills areas and a new SDF grant was recently awarded to the petrochemical partners for another $2.9 million.”

“We’re looking forward to working with Berry Plastics and continuing successful partnerships to help our region benefit from Skills Development Fund grants because it’s so critical to the industry and has far-reaching effects on the overall regional economy,” added Yancey.

Grant funds were presented on January 20 at the Berry Plastics location by Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken. Also in attendance were VC President Tom Butler, Executive Director of Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent Henry Guajardo and Berry Plastics Plant Manager Frank Watson along with other partners from Berry Plastics, TWC and VC.

“What is especially beneficial about Skills Development Fund grants from TWC is that they are flexible and customizable depending on need. In our area, we’ve had awards for large industry consortiums such as what was awarded to the petrochemical consortium late last year, and now to a single business, Berry Plastics,” said Butler. “This funding continues to provide a tremendous economic impact in our area by helping local employers provide training for staff that makes them more productive, promotable and marketable.”

"We at Berry Plastics are extremely excited about the opportunities that the Skills Development Fund grant will afford all of our employees at the Victoria facility. In challenging economic times such as these, it is imperative that we provide as much training as possible to enhance the skills of each member of our team,” said Watson. “The grant allows us to send our employees to a variety of training courses from improving leadership skills, computer skills to job specific training courses. I would like to thank the Texas Workforce Commission and Victoria College for being such great partners and assisting us in obtaining this grant to give our employees a unique opportunity to develop not only job-related skills, but skills that they can use in their lives every day."


posted Friday, January 21, 2011

Published: Thursday, 20 January 2011

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