SANFORD — A major workforce-training project by Central Carolina Community College for Coty Inc.’s Sanford plant is a go.
The college’s Industry Services office recently received $174,046 in funding from the North Carolina Community College System’s Customized Training Program. It will support workforce training for at least 600 employees at the Broadway Road plant.
Katy Caselli, Coty’s Human Resources Learning and Development manager at the Sanford plant, and Cathy Swindell, CCCC Industry Services officer, worked together to develop the funding request. Coty employees will be trained in areas such as computer skills, project management, maintenance training, technical writing, basic workforce skills, middle management, and leadership development.
“One of the most important factors for a business or industry to locate, remain or expand in North Carolina is the presence of a well-trained workforce,” said Swindell. “Customized Training Programs can react quickly to the needs of businesses and their workforces.”
As a result of the new partnership between the college and Coty, college leaders toured the local plant, met with Coty directors and managers, and heard their plans for their company and how it will benefit the local workforce and area.
Coty, established in France in 1904, is the premier fragrance company in the world, selling in 80 global markets. It manufactures and markets fragrances, cosmetics and personal care products for numerous well-known brands, including Calvin Klein, Adidas, Vera Wang, Esprit, Nautica, and others.
The million-square-foot Sanford plant employs 800 permanent workers. It is the only global distribution site in the worldwide Coty corporation and the only one that supports both the high-end and standard product divisions of the corporation. The Sanford plant has a net positive impact on the North Carolina economy of more than $180 million.
In 2009, Coty’s Sanford plant established company improvement objectives. The plan to achieve those objectives by 2013 is called “40-50-60GameOn.”
“GameOn is a cultural journey, a pursuit of excellence for our plant,” said Coty Vice President Brian O’Neil, Sanford general manager. “A huge part of that is the education of our people. With the help of Central Carolina Community College and Cathy Swindell, we are going to move forward.”
Swindell described the Customized Training Program for Coty as a two-year project with the possibility of running a third year. Training will be provided for operators, production workers, frontline and team leaders, mechanics, maintenance technicians, and warehouse and shipping/receiving technicians.
“This is no cookie-cutter approach to workforce training,” she said. “This is truly customized training for the workers at Coty’s Sanford plant, provided primarily on-site.”
The Customized Training Program is a proposal-based, state-funded project that will pay for instruction, materials, and certifications of the employees at no cost to Coty. Swindell described for Coty directors and managers a few of the features incorporated into the training project:
- Job profiling - The Industry Services office will analyze several critical positions at Coty and create job profiles that match with state and national Career Readiness Certification standards. This will enable the company to require a specific level of CRC for employment in a position. The employees will benefit because CRC is a portable, nationally recognized workforce training credential.
- CCCC educational programs fair for Coty employees - The college hosted a fair explaining the educational opportunities at the college for the employees. The college offers everything from basic literacy to associate degrees. Employees will be encouraged to take advantage of Coty’s tuition reimbursement program to pay for education.
- Specialized training - Workplace literacy programs will be contextualized for the needs of Coty employees.
- Equipment purchase - The college will purchase equipment with non-Customized Training funding that will be used to assess work skills of Coty maintenance department employees. The equipment, which will be the property of the college, will benefit Coty employees and also be used for skills assessments in other companies with which the Industry Services office works.
To support the Customized Training effort and other workforce training, Coty will create a simulated work environment and classroom space at the plant. Overall capital investment by the company for new equipment, facility upgrades and support systems for GameOn is projected at more than $20 million.
“Coty really, really appreciates this fantastic opportunity for cooperation with Central Carolina Community College in the Customized Training Program,” O’Neil said. “This will be huge for our workers and our community.”