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New Apprenticeship Program Underway at PCA in Manistee

Packaging Corporation of America in Manistee and the Department of Labor have officially signed the standards for PCA’s new Mill Mechanic Apprenticeship Program. Northwest Michigan Works! is providing technical assistance and administrative support for the program and West Shore Community College is the technical training provider.

Six apprentices are participating in the four-year program which includes on the job training and college courses. At the end of the program, the apprentices will become five skill Mill Mechanics.

John Rakoski, the Maintenance Manager at PCA’s Filer City plant, says they had a need for skilled trades workers in the mill and were having trouble finding qualified employees. He says the apprenticeship program is going to help them develop their workforce.

“Michigan Works! did a good job paving the way for this, making it easy for us to get this kicked off,” said Rakoski. “We appreciate their help.”

“Finalizing the development of this program will make a big impact on the workforce at PCA and potentially on the community,” said Evelyn Szpliet, Northwest Michigan Works! Manager of Apprenticeships & Business Resource Networks. “Northwest Michigan Works! was happy to serve as the employer intermediary on this project.”

Northwest Michigan Works! is an essential resource for employers and job seekers in the Northern Michigan area.
- Kathy Stuart, Michigan Rubber Products Human Resource Manager