23 graduate NobleUp program

Article by Samantha Whiting of KPC Media

ALBION — Twenty-three people graduated this week from two industrial certification classes at the Noble County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which is designed for area industries to assist in developing more skilled workers.

The programs, which are available to anyone who works or lives in Noble County, are provided through a partnership of the Noble County EDC, the Freedom Academy and WorkOne. The series of classes are called NobleUp.

Employers are asked to pay 20 percent of the program fee, which is approximately $4,300, for their employee to attend the six-month course. The other 80 percent is provided by alternative funds or grants, Noble County EDC Director Rick Sherck said.

Without this program, employers are going to lose good workers, according to Jason Meneke, human resources manager at No-Sag Products in Kendallville.

“Maintenance people don’t knock on the doors looking for work (anymore),” Maneke said. “You have to develop your own.”

No-Sag Products had one employee participate in one of the recent certification classes.

The employee was hired in as a machine operator, Maneke said, and he showed a lot of potential. Maneke could tell he wanted to put time into developing his career.

That same employee was recently recognized by supervisors at the company’s end-of-year banquet as one of the most-improved employees, Maneke added.

“The training is valued by the industries,” Sherck said. “They see it as value added to them and they’re willing to invest in it.”

Training and certifications are available in a variety of industrial-related topics, such as machine technician, welding and green belt.

Through NobleUp, employees are able to up their skills, which increases their wages and their quality of life.

“The more skills you have, the more you will get paid,” Sherck explained. “The more you get paid, the better quality of life you will have.”

The following individuals graduated from the green belt class: Jonathon Collins, Jason Detter, Amanda Fentress, Joshua Geiger, Zachary German, Joshua Hovarter, Kelsey Howell, Tyler Johnson, Michael Kugler, Macie Price, Leslie Wagley and Karena Woods.

Graduating from the maintenance technician class were: Ryan Cureton, Kyle Griffiths, Kelly Ordway, Andres Vallejo, James Wiehe, James Duncan, Elhoussein Elasri, Brian Ellis, Lorenzo Marmolejo, Kaung Soe and Payten Walter.

If an employer or employee is interested in learning more about the program, contact any WorkOne office. The Kendallville location can be reached at 599-1000.