College out to help IP workers

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, October 29, 2009

The entire college family is saddened to learn of the impending permanent shutdown of International Paper, foremost known to us as a Camp Family business. As an institution named for Paul D. Camp, one of the founding brothers of the initial logging operation, it is hard to envision a future without the paper mill’s presence. It has been an integral part of the communities we serve for such a long time.

PDCCC commitment to help

On hearing the disturbing news, PDCCC’s President, Dr. Doug Boyce, commented: “The College has had a close working relationship with the mill, and that will be missed, but more importantly, we recognize the devastating ripple effects on lives, businesses and communities all over the region. The College is committed to doing everything it can to help those impacted to pick up the pieces of their lives and go on with renewed hope and new opportunities.”

Workforce plans for IP layoff

Paul D. Camp will play a significant role in our community’s response. Randy Betz, vice president of Workforce Development, has been appointed by the Governor to a Rapid Response Team, headed by Lynette Hammond, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade.

A former IP employee himself, Randy served on the Rapid Response Team for the closing of the Ford Plant and will be working with other community colleges in the area and the one-stop centers to address the needs of displaced workers.

As part of this process, PDCCC’s Regional Workforce Development Center will be providing free services, such as computer classes, help with resume writing, and channeling people to academic programs helpful to them as they explore career options.

The Center also will be working closely with other agencies to post services delivered through the workforce center to those losing their jobs.

In addition, the Franklin One-Stop operation (Workforce Investment Board, Opportunity Inc., and the Virginia Employment Commission), housed in the College’s Workforce Development Center, will continue assisting an ever-expanding number of job candidates. For information on services there, call 569-6085

Warehouse and Distribution Operations Career Studies Certificate

Based on the expressed needs of the College’s industry partners, a Warehouse and Distribution Operations Career Studies Certificate has been developed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed for employment in entry-level positions in the warehouse and distribution field, which include a basic understanding of the concepts of warehouse and distribution operations; the equipment and procedures employed in operations; warehouse information technologies; safety and security procedures; and working in teams. Participants will master basic warehouse tasks and the operation of a variety of conveyers, lift trucks, and stacked racks in a working-laboratory environment. The ultimate goal is to make PDCCC the supplier source for qualified entry-level warehouse and distribution workers.

The nine-credit-hour program includes three, three-credit courses: Introduction to Business; Team Concepts and Problem Solving; and Studies in Warehouse and Distribution.

Approved by the Local College Board and waiting final approval by the State Board in November, this exciting new program is expected to launch in January or February, 2010.

For more details on workforce programs, call Randy Betz at 569-6064.

For information on other options available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit www.pdc.edu.