MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — It will be more than a year until Procter & Gamble’s Tabler Station plant opens, but local residents are already working to find out what skills will be needed for a position and how to obtain those skills.
Procter & Gamble and its local training partner, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, held its first session of a two-day training information event Tuesday for residents at BRCTC’s Technical Center.
Matthew Pellegrini, hiring manager for P&G, said the information sessions were an opportunity for residents to learn what skills and technologies will be needed at the plant and how Blue Ridge can assist with training opportunities.
“This is really about what we’re doing in our specific partnership with Blue Ridge to help build the skills of the local community workforce and how it’s connected to what we’re looking for. Some of the programs that Blue Ridge hosts are right up the alley for the work we’re doing. We’re trying to showcase that,” he said.
The session included information on what programs the college has or will be developing that matches what skills will be in demand at the Tabler Station plant, a presentation by P&G’s leadership team, a question and answer session with team members and a tour of the technical center, including information on spring 2016 classes and financial assistance.
Pellegrini said the information session was being used as a gauge for local interest in learning the company’s needed skill set and utilizing local resources like Blue Ridge CTC for training. The skills the company advertises looking for in potential applicants are mechanical, electrical and manufacturing.
“As we get closer to having a building and initially opening that building, we’ll be doing more stuff to generate a larger-scale interest and larger-scale hiring once we get to that part of the process. This was kind of an early stage look to see if people were looking at the technical school, here’s what you can do to get yourself ready in the next year,” he said.
Martinsburg resident David Delaportos, 25, said he attended the information session because he wanted to learn what skills he would need to learn to become a strong applicant for P&G.
“It’s going to take some time (for the facility to open), but it’s reassuring to know that they’re looking for skilled, committed people. I want to go to a technical school and learn a skill. It’s a good opportunity,” he said.
Delaportos said he is currently working nights at a factory and is looking for an opportunity to find a job that would better utilize the skills he has and plans to learn.
Both Tuesday’s and today’s session were completely filled, with residents placed on a waiting list, said Dr. Peter Checkovich, president for BRCTC. The two information sessions required an RSVP at www.blueridgectc.edu. Checkovich said another training session event is likely to be held in January and February.
Procter & Gamble broke ground on its Tabler Station plant in September. The company estimates its Tabler Station facility will employ 300 full-time positions by 2017 and 700 in 2019. All hiring is processed through the company’s website, www.pgcareers.com.
-Staff writer Samantha Cronk can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 132, or twitter.com/scronkJN.