During the spring of 2017, Hyundai Powertech America (PTA) was facing a dilemma. A much needed retooling project in which all of the plant equipment was going to be replaced or rebuilt was about to begin, which would leave the company’s 272 employees without work for over two months. Layoffs were the natural route to take. But, PTA saw an opportunity.
“Our employees are what make us successful, so instead of choosing the easier or more traditional path of laying employees off, we really wanted to take this opportunity to invest in our employees and in our business,” said Jason Ransbottom, Senior Manager of Human Resources and Administration at Powertech.
Instead of layoff’s, PTA partnered with the West Georgia Technical College Economic Development division to develop a customized training program, focusing on communication, teamwork, safety, and manufacturing operations.
The project, which happened in part with the support of the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board, provided PTA more than just the opportunity to maintain and upskill their workforce. It supported a more efficient return to production.
“That’s one of the reasons we went to West Georgia Tech, too, is to help keep our employees engaged, train them, and get them ready, so we have a faster ramp up time to production.”
The project came to fruition quickly, and culminated in 272 employees getting ten weeks of training for 40 hours each week.
“It was a great turn-around,” said Ransbottom. “West Georgia Tech let us drive the boat on this. We were able to customize this to exactly what we need. That was really essential. Whatever we wanted out of the process, West Georgia Tech was right there.”