Michael V. Hannigan

First Manufacturing Class Graduates from Workforce Solutions


By Michael V. Hannigan

Graduation season isn’t over just yet. Six proud individuals graduated from a first of its kind class at Workforce Solutions in Athens last Thursday.

The six students finished a full-time class which lasted four weeks and included OSHA-30 certification and hands on training that has them ready for new jobs in the manufacturing industry.

“It’s a win-win-win for everybody,” said Angelia Snow.

Snow, area manager for Workforce Solutions East Texas, said the program was paid for through a National Emergency Grant and is available to people whose unemployment benefits have run out or who have been unemployed for 27 weeks.

National Emergency Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events which cause significant job losses.

According to Snow, FutureMatrix Interventional and new business in the community, Quality Products Products LLC are participating. In addition, Argon Medical Devices is expected to join the program in the near future.

The class was taught by Jerry Hanna, OSHA Outreach Trainer for Core 1 Safety, which provides onsite OSHA training, mock OSHA inspections, air and noise surveys, and litigation support across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

“We are able to come into the community and discuss with some of the local businesses what they are actually looking for in an employee, and we try and tailor the class to those local businesses,” Hanna said.

He added that the companies even supplied the class with some of their supplies and products that the students would be using on the job.

“We try and incorporate that,” he said.

Workforce Solutions is looking to do another class in July and may expand to include a warehousing and distrubution class in August.

Services at the Workforce Solutions East Texas Centers are publicly funded and available at no charge. Locally, the Workforce office in Athens sees an average of more than 1,200 visitors each month.

According to the Workforce Solutions East Texas website, “Job seekers find well equipped resource rooms with Internet connections linking them to local, state and national job listings. Job seekers have access to the tools necessary to conduct their search. Computers, telephones, fax, and the latest labor market information make the job search easier and faster. Training and additional assistance is available for those needing extra help.”

The Workforce Solutions office in Athens is located at 205 Murchison, Suite 101 (across from the jail) and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is (903) 677-3521.