By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
It may not be the guarantee of a job after college, but Continental Tire the Americas is guaranteeing those who do well in the Manufacturing Employment Skills class at Rend Lake College the opportunity to interview for a job.
“An opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often,” said Chris Nielsen, dean of the Applied Science and Technology division at the college. “If a student completes this course with a B, and they meet the employment requirements for Continental Tire, they will be given a job interview at CTA.”
Continental Tire is the largest employer in Mt. Vernon and the region, with $224 million investment required for the expansion was announced in 2011, and also announced a total of 444 new full-time jobs would be created from the time of the announcement through 2013. When the total expansion project is completed by 2014, the plant is expected to produce more than 13.4 million PLT tires and 3.15 million CVT tires annually. Of the $224 million investment, $171 million is in new machinery and equipment and $53 million for the building and infrastructure.
The company employs more than 2,500 and is expected to raise that figure to nearly 3,000.
The Rend Lake College course, MFG1200, is new and slated to start on Jan. 28 at the main campus in Ina. Students will meet for a total of 48 hours over eight weeks, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Attendance is mandatory and worth three college credit hours. The cost of the course is $288 plus textbooks. Students are required to pre-register and pre-pay for the class.
According to information from RLC, the Manufacturing Employment Skills class is designed to familiarize students with the history of the manufacturing industry, along with the manufacturing industry in proximity to the college. Those taking the class will be expected to demonstrate necessary workplace skills required to be a safe, productive employee in industry. Topics covered will include history and types of manufacturing, safety in the workplace, work ethics, work environment, shift work and schedules, and human resources. Successful students will exhibit they have incorporated instruction into their day-to-day activities. The complete course, along with individual evaluations, could be used as an employee screening tool.
“We’re excited about this opportunity to partner with RLC,” said TJ McKinney, human resources manager at CTA. “This is a great education program and we hope to see many students come out of this class with high marks eager to interview with Continental Tire.”
McKinney said of the 444 jobs which were announced in 2011, the company is seeking to fill 200 of the remaining production positions.
To register for the course, contact the RLC Applied Science and Advanced Technology Division at 437-5321, ext. 1261.