The Unilever plant in Covington recently donated $12,000 to Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) to support its High School Dual Enrollment Advanced Integrated Industrial Technology (AIIT) program.
The program helps eligible high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit before they graduate and creates awareness of career opportunities within the manufacturing industry.
Currently, 29 dual enrollment students from Brighton and Covington High Schools are taking courses at DSCC’s Jimmy Naifeh Center in Tipton County in order to earn the Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification, which is also included within the new Associate’s degree in AIIT.
Courses include training in workplace safety, manufacturing processes and production, quality control and statistical process control, and predictive preventative maintenance and lubrication. These courses are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in an advanced, high-performance manufacturing environment where they can secure production positions after graduating from high school.
Last year, Unilever announced the expansion of its Covington facility, which produces ice cream and frozen novelty items for brands such as Breyers, Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle. Plans include facility and site improvements for an 11,000-square-foot engine room expansion and a 90,000-square-foot parking lot expansion, resulting in an investment of $108.7 million and the addition of 428 new full-time positions over a four-year period. Upon completion of the project, the company expects to have a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees in Covington.
“Unilever is committed to improving the lives of our employees and people in the communities where we live and serve, and we are proud to support Dyersburg State Community College,” said Larry D. Gibson, Manufacturing Director, Unilever Covington Ice Cream Plant. “We have made a significant investment to expand our operations in Covington, and in order to continue our growth we are going to need a talented employee base.”
“There is enormous potential for careers in manufacturing today. By partnering with Dyersburg State, we are giving students a chance to achieve the necessary skills to meet the requirements of the manufacturing industry, as well as giving back to our local communities of Tipton and Dyer counties,” added Bernadette Fuller, Human Resources Manager of Unilever Covington Ice Cream Plant.
“Dyersburg State Community College is delighted to have Unilever as a partner in improving the pipeline of potential employees for an advanced, high-performing manufacturing environment,” stated Dr. Karen Bowyer, President of DSCC.
“The new AIIT Associate of Applied Science Degree program that contains four stackable certificates (Certified Production Technician, Mechatronics Industrial Electricity, Mechatronics Programmable Logic Controller, Mechatronics Mechanical Components) has been developed to educate a world class workforce for manufacturers in this region. Dual enrollment high school students and their parents are excited about this opportunity to prepare for a bright future in advanced manufacturing.”
For more information, visit: www.dscc.edu