Food manufacturing science certificate helps train workers for food processing jobs

July 27, 2011

From the Wausau Daily Herald: “Food manufacturing science certificate helps train workers for food processing jobs” — GRAND RAPIDS — For Rodney Cassel-Gebhardt, Monday marked an end and a new beginning.

The Wisconsin Rapids resident lost his job at Schreiber Foods in 2008, when the company closed its plant in the Wisconsin Rapids West Side Industrial Park. While his manufacturing experience allowed him to get a temporary job in Plover, a lack of training prevented him from finding a full-time position — until recently.

“I’m fortunate that I got a job,” the 31-year-old said Monday after a recognition ceremony at Mid-State Technical College’s Wisconsin Rapids campus.

Cassel-Gebhardt was one of 18 students who recently earned Mid-State’s food manufacturing science certificate — the first tangible result of the community-led Workforce Central initiative, the project’s director said.

“It’s a joint philanthropic and public investment strategy, and this is the first training that’s come out of that,” said Jennifer Riggenbach, who leads the grass-roots workforce development project at the Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County.


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