Are you unemployed or underemployed? Do you have a criminal record? Does a career seem out of reach? At Polk State College, you can receive free training and earn valuable certifications that will land you a job in manufacturing.
Polk State Corporate College offers employer-based training courses in six-week boot camp sessions. The next session is June 4 to July 16, with subsequent summer sessions June 25 to August 6, and July 23 to August 31.
The boot camp includes instruction, books, registration, and assessments at no cost to the students thanks to a TechHire grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
Students are required to complete an academic assessment and attend orientation prior to the first day of classes. There are still spots available for the boot camp starting June 4, with orientations scheduled for May 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and May 30 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center, 310 Technology Drive, Bartow, where Polk State Corporate College is housed. To secure a spot for the June 4 boot camp, contact Marta Clinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863.297.1010 ext. 4676 or Shela Stewart-Lucas at email@example.com or 863.297.1010 ext. 4680 before orientation.
The boot camps are accelerated versions of training offered through the Polk Partnership for Industrial Employment, which trains unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as inmates, for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector.
“At Polk State Corporate College, students receive the hands-on training that prepares them for employment and careers in the manufacturing industry. Through our boot camp, they are also connected to employers who are seeking individuals with these skills. These services are available at no cost to the employer or the individual,” Program Manager Mark Thomas said.
“At Polk State Corporate College, students receive the hands-on training that prepares them for employment and careers in the manufacturing industry,” Program Manager Mark Thomas said. “Through our boot camp, they are also connected to employers who are seeking individuals with these skills.”
“These services are available at no cost to the employer or the individual,” Thomas added. “This is because Polk State College is dedicated to filling local workforce needs and local manufacturers are telling us that they are ready for these students once they have received their certifications.”
There are more than 500 manufacturers in Polk County and according to Economic Modeling Specialists International’s 2016 Occupations Report for Polk County, there will be more than 2,500 job openings in the occupations targeted by the Polk Partnership for Industrial Employment by 2021.
Those occupations include industrial machinery mechanics, first-line supervisors, and maintenance workers in advanced manufacturing. All of these targeted occupations pay well above Florida’s minimum wage, with first-line supervisors and industrial machinery mechanics considered high-skill, high-wage jobs by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“Our program is a win-win situations for the students and employers,” Thomas explained. “All we have to do is get interested, motivated individuals into the classroom.”
Boot camp participants earn MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10, and Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) Mechanical Level I certifications, and may also earn up to 15 credit hours toward an Associate in Science in Engineering Technology degree. These certifications and training give participants a competitive edge when applying for jobs in the manufacturing field.
Trainees also benefit from Polk State Corporate College’s partnerships with local industry leaders and manufacturers, including Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance of Mid-Florida, Cutrale Citrus Juices, Lakeland Electric, MaxPak Total Packaging, and PalletOne.
The program also works closely with CareerSource Polk, Bartow Work Release Center, Abe Brown Ministries, Inc., Florida Department of Corrections, Lakeland Housing Authority’s YouthBuild, and Talbot House to assist students with employment and other resources.
“We are there for the students from the moment they inquire about the program until they are successfully employed, assisting them outside of training with finding employment,” Thomas said. “Through the Polk Partnership for Industrial Employment and our boot camps, individuals who are unemployed or underemployed find themselves in new positions in which they are skilled, qualified, and employable.”
“The only cost is a commitment to training and turning their lives around,” Thomas added. “It’s a unique opportunity.”