Training and retaining qualified skilled workers is a global challenge. voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation in Shelbyville, Kentucky (USA) achieves extraordinary success with an attractive program.
Cooperation, training support and advancement opportunities: state-of-the-art employee development is made up of many tools. voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation (RFC) in Kentucky bundles these tools into an extraordinary opportunity—for skilled workers and companies alike.
“RFC trains motivated and talented employees in close partnership with the Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC). Training occurs during working hours and RFC pays the full tuition costs,” comments Patty Sweasy, RFC Safety Manager/Training Coordinator, on the cornerstones of the training program. Rickie Jeffries, Tool Room Supervisor, adds, “RFC invests in this program to retain skilled toolmakers for years to come. RFC has been involved with this program since 2005.” The statistics confirm the success of this strategy: 100% of all employees who have graduated from the program since 2005 are still with the company, and some have even become engineers. Currently, several Tool Design and Build employees, including former graduates, mentor students and lecture at JCTC as well.
Identification with the company
If you ask program graduates like tool designer Travis Cabell what they think about the program, they speak with pride: “I moved into the design department and I am now able to put my own and others ideas into improving the tools and processes. I am proud that I am still able to have the partnership with our toolmakers to help our company grow with first class tooling.”
Patty Sweasy points out that this identification with the company improves its reputation as an employer in the long term and makes it more attractive for future employees. Not only RFC and its employees, but also the region benefits from the program. A fact that is also confirmed by Greg Phillips, Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator at the JCTC. The cooperation makes this training possible in the first place and also helps determine its direction. A training program with so many winners deserves a long future.
"If we don’t invest in these students, someone else will. The success of RFC depends on the knowledge, training, and retention of employees."
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Our path to a green future
We are upping the pace of emissions reduction. greentec steel from voestalpine is Austria’s largest climate protection program. Starting in 2027, this program will reduce Austria’s annual CO2 emissions by almost 5%. 2024 marks the start of the partial shift from the blast furnace to the electric arc furnace (EAF) route—once unresolved funding issues in Austria are clarified.