The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

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Goodwill and Northwest Motors Sales and Service (NWMS) have just celebrated the completion of a 3-month Industrial Training pilot program designed for next generation workers to learn living wage industrial trades. This is a new and unique program, which combines on-the-job training and mentorship with customized classroom instruction and case management support, to prepare young adults ages 18-24 for living wage jobs in the Cowlitz County area.

NWMS is a local company that provides installation, servicing and maintenance of electric motors to pulp and paper mills, steel mills, marine, mining, power plants and other industries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

"In the past four years, I have been unable to recruit a local resident to our team that possesses the required skills for the family-wage jobs that I have available. This has led to hiring from outside the market, often at a premium and sacrificed margins to the business,” said Spencer Wiggins, President of NWMS, a subsidiary of CHW Enterprises.

For the pilot program NWMS selected three candidates, recruited and pre-screened by Goodwill, for a 10 week paid internship. Intern’s Wages were paid under a Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act grant through Workforce Southwest Washington. For the duration of the internship, participants spent four days on the worksite under the mentorship of key NWMS personnel and spent every Friday at Goodwill Work Opportunity Center in facilitated learning from a manual specific to the work they were being trained to perform.

The three Job Training Interns successfully completed over 220 hours of on-the-job industrial experience at NWMS including tool use, equipment operation, maintenance and repair, site safety, and industry-specific skill development; completing the 17 volume EASA Mechanical Repair Fundamentals internship curriculum; earned certification in OSHA 10, Forklift and CPR/First Aide; and displayed consistent growth in employability. Upon completion of the training program all three interns received offers of employment and were hired by Northwest Motors Sales and Service. As a result of the success of this pilot, Goodwill and NWMS have agreed to provide this training opportunity three times a year moving forward.

 

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