Stonyfield Organic, based in Londonderry, NH, and the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, is leveraging new collaborations to help upskill its existing workforce.
Stonyfield has launched a new maintenance repairer Registered Apprenticeship program. The program has been developed through a program with Manchester Community College (MCC) and the ApprenticeshipNH program, which seeks to address workforce needs in industry sectors throughout the state through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Two apprentices will complete the inaugural program, which will help them move from entry-level positions within the company into a more technically-skilled job.
“A company that invests in its people, in turn, invests in its own future. Put your people first and you will win,” said Justin Boster, Stonyfield’s plant maintenance manager. “Working with Manchester Community College and ApprenticeshipNH has been a great way for Stonyfield to ensure that we have adaptable, qualified employees that can grow and change along with the company.”
The apprenticeship utilizes coursework offered by Manchester Community College
The program will consist of 848 hours of classroom instruction completed over the course of three years at MCC. All required coursework is credit-bearing, and college credits earned by the apprentices may be used to complete a number of advanced manufacturing technology degrees or certificates at MCC. The Registered Apprenticeship program at Stonyfield also requires just over three years of on-the-job training, which equates to 6,500 hours. As maintenance repairer apprentices, Stonyfield employees will learn with the support of a mentor how to install, troubleshoot and repair manufacturing and packaging equipment.
“This apprenticeship program enables participants to not only begin an exciting new career path in the industry, but also the opportunity to work towards a degree or certificate that allows the apprentices to learn and develop new skills while still receiving a paycheck,” said Emily Zeien, grant manager for ApprenticeshipNH.
Throughout the course of the apprenticeship, participants will earn wages with incremental raises as the program progresses. Upon completion, apprentices will receive a national occupational credential from the US Department of Labor, verifying that they are fully qualified as maintenance repairers.
“Stonyfield is demonstrating their commitment to their internal talent by developing this apprenticeship opportunity that allows employees to better themselves. Apprentices will have access to exceptional training and education resources that will prepare them to be successful in a new career,” Zeien said. “We applaud Stonyfield for making such a significant investment in their workforce.”
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To learn more about the ApprenticeshipNH program, including additional information on how your business can get involved, please click here.