Horsehead employees receiving high tech training

At Isothermal Community College and in Spain
Jun. 13, 2013 @ 05:05 AM

New employees at Horsehead, Inc. are completing the first wave of training through Isothermal Community College's Customized Training & Development program.

The 21 employees began their training program on May 20 and received 130 hours of instruction and safety training, said Mark Franklin, the new Director of Customized Training and Development at Isothermal.

Franklin, presented the update of the training programs Tuesday during the regular business meeting of the trustees.

Franklin, a former Human Resources Director for Cone Mills and Gepetto Kitchens, is replacing Mike Saunders, who retired on May 30.

He said Horsehead employees were taught metal extraction for zinc production at the new plant under construction off Hicks Grove Road near the South Carolina line. 

The second wave of 40 employees from Horsehead will begin training on July 15.  Another 40 employees will begin training August 12.  

Franklin told trustees that Mike Moats, an instructor with the Missouri University of Science and Technology, came to Isothermal to train the employees and will return to the college for the subsequent waves of training for the employees.

Moats is the only instructor in the United States who has the expertise to extract the metal using a specific type of technology.

The same technology is taught in Spain where Horsehead officials have sent employees there for training. Other employees will go  to Spain in the future, Franklin said.

At least half the employees at Horsehead are Rutherford County residents, Franklin said in response to a question from trustee.

Franklin said Isothermal is also beginning training for 12 employees of Valley Fine Foods in Forest City. They will receive 17 hours of instruction regarding the manufacturing practices for food preparation as well as safety training.

"We will also reach out to our existing industries," Franklin said.

 Training is available for the county's changing work force.

"This will be a great thing for our future," said President Walter Dalton.

Mike Gavin, the college's director marketing and community relations, said when college officials sit down with industry officials to talk specifically about job training needs, the college either goes to its employees on staff or they recruit others from outside, such as Moats.