Colleges, prospective workers prepare for Remington jobs - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Colleges, prospective workers prepare for Remington jobs

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Remington will need folks with advanced manufacturing degrees. Remington will need folks with advanced manufacturing degrees.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The big announcement that Remington Outdoor Company is opening a new plant in Huntsville has a lot of people hoping for a shot at a job there. But even before they open, the firearms manufacturer needs help from local contractors.

The old Chrysler plant, where the new Remington facility will call home, needs upgrades, so construction will be the first matter to be attended to right away. In the meantime, the search is on for skilled technicians.

Remington will need folks with advanced manufacturing degrees. These are your machine and tool technicians, industrial maintenance and technology.

Community colleges like Calhoun and Drake State are ready for the influx of students expected to be looking for a two-year degree to fill those positions. Calhoun is training students on the same equipment that Remington will use in the plant. The college is also partnering with AIDT, a workforce development company that can serve as a pipeline to Remington.

Bethany Shockney, Dean of Business, Technologies and Workforce Development, described the type of person the company will want as "a very highly skilled professional. They have to be very precise, they have to have good analytical skills, and often times have very good communication skills."

The expansion announcement couldn't come at a better time for former employees of International Paper in Courtland, and of Chrysler, the facility that will soon house Remington. Calhoun reports around a dozen former IP workers enrolled in classes who are brushing up on their trade skills, which they could potentially bring to the table for Remington.

"The good news is that the people from IP or other companies that have scaled down or lost their jobs qualify for funding available through federal programs called the Workforce Investment Act. Right now we have a directive from the State Department that says they can get 50 percent off their tuition if they don't qualify for other federal programs," said Shockney.

Remington is asking anyone with the skills to contact AIDT. The company will hire more than 1,800 people as part of its agreement.

For year one, the company will focus on capital investments, facility improvement, equipment installation and setup, as well as workforce development. In year two, the first year of operation, the company will hire 280 people, then 600 people in year three. By year four, they should have over 1,000 employees. They expect to hire more than 1,800 people by year eight and reach that agreement goal.

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