Bemis Company, Inc., a global manufacturer of flexible packaging products, has partnered with Fox Valley Technical College to create a maintenance trainee program. The goal of the program is to develop a pipeline of skilled employees in preparation for upcoming retirements on the maintenance teams. “Maintenance staff is critical in our manufacturing process,” says Amanda Kopetsky, human resources manager for Bemis. “They help ensure our equipment operates safely and efficiently around the clock.”
When determining how best to keep a steady pipeline full of skilled maintenance staff, Bemis decided to look internally to provide current employees an opportunity to gain the training needed for this position. “These individuals know our company, fit our culture and are comfortable with shift work required,” adds Kopetsky. “Thanks to Fox Valley Tech, we now have an opportunity to develop necessary electrical and mechanical skills for these individuals.”
Bemis maintenance and engineering leaders worked with Fox Valley Tech instructors from its Business & Industry Services team to create a curriculum unique to Bemis. “The training is a combination of classroom studies and on-the-job training,” says Kopetsky. “They can apply what they learn in class on the job.”
Partially funded by a Wisconsin Fast Forward grant and involving other companies as well in this same training by FVTC, the project has generated positive feedback from Bemis employees. “Bemis is building capability for the future while the trainees are provided the opportunity to learn while being paid,” states Kopetsky.