PotashCorp recognized for apprenticeships

Published 6:34 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

AURORA — PotashCorp-Aurora recently received statewide recognition for its apprentice program for employees.

The company was given the 2016 Recognition for Outstanding Innovative Registered Apprenticeship Program by the North Carolina Department of Commerce earlier this month. Training manager Kim Toler accepted the award in Greensboro on behalf of the company.

“Apprenticeships help businesses like PotashCorp-Aurora find the specific talent they need to grow in a competitive environment,” N.C. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III stated in a press release. “We recognized PotashCorp-Aurora during our NCWorks Apprenticeship Conference, because investing in workers is instrumental in the company’s success and the growth of our economy.”

PotashCorp and the Commerce Department also recognized 62 employees who completed the program at a ceremony in Aurora.

PotashCorp-Aurora began its apprenticeship program more than 30 years ago “to give interested employees a path for career advancement or to enhance their current skill set,” according to Ray McKeithan, manager of public and governmental affairs.

McKeithan said the program involves on-the-job training for employees, as well as classroom time, for fields including lab work, emergency response and mine operations.

Since 1984, 1,938 workers have entered the apprenticeship program, 1,510 received their certificate and 272 completed the master craftsmen program, the release stated. PotashCorp-Aurora currently has 123 participating “apprentices” enrolled, according to the release.

“Continuous improvement is a core value at PotashCorp-Aurora,” general manager Mark Johnson stated. “We are honored to have received this award and recognize the efforts of our many apprentices who have developed skills to grow their careers for our mutual benefit.”

“While participating employees are completing the requirements for the apprenticeship program, they are also advancing their careers,” McKeithan said. “We consider this a valuable partnership and are honored to be recognized for best practices that are shared with other employers through this program.”