College’s Corporate Training Pays Off for New Lincoln Manufacturer
When Cataler North America came to Lincoln County in 2001, Gaston College welcomed the company to the community with free consulting services. The Corporate Education Department of Gaston College provided pre-employment testing for the catalytic converter manufacturer. “We’re trying to attract new industries to the area,” said Joseph Keith, director of corporate education at Gaston. Using new and expanding industry funds, available through the North Carolina community college system, two occupational psychologists visited a similar plant in Long Beach, California. The psychologists wrote job descriptions, recommended existing pre-employment testing and developed other screenings. Through the tests, Cataler chose 12 people from 200 job applicants. “We got the cream of the crop,” said Beverly Gilbert, human resources manager. “I feel like I had a better handle on what we’re getting.” After the initial operations employees were hired, Gaston College provided additional customized training in lean manufacturing concepts, statistical process control, leadership, QS9000 quality procedures, and basic computer skills for the new operations, and first-line supervisors. QS9000 training was also provided for the executives. The company will invest $60 million in a new facility and plans to employ approximately 80 people at capacity. Cataler has built a 110,000 square foot building on a 32-acre site in Lincoln County Industrial Park. Gaston College will continue to assist Cataler for up to three years as more new employees are added by the company to bring the operation up to full production. Gaston College has a similar program for existing industry. For more information, call Joe Keith at 704-922-6448.