Thanks to a grant in the amount of $287,500 from the state Department of Workforce Development’s “Fast Forward” program, Interflex Group of Merrill, in cooperation with NTC and Fox Valley Technical College, recently completed skilled training of 115 employees.
On Wednesday morning, DWD Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson visited the company and saw first hand how state funds have been put to good use.
During a meeting with Anderson as well as other plant and company executives, Interflex Human Resources Vice President Ryan Williams described how overall production and efficiency in the Merrill facility, has been steadily increasing since the training was completed.
Williams also stated the company had recently closed a plant in Atlanta, GA and transferred some of the equipment from that facility to the Merrill facility. The company in turn took advantage of grant funding to implement employee training in operation of the new equipment.
“This grant has enabled us to literally take employees off the street and teach them a trade which will last their entire lives,” added plant manager Tom Schwab.
Following the meeting with executives, Anderson was led on a tour of the plant during which he was introduced to some of the newly delivered state of the art equipment in the facility as well as meeting plant employees.
“I am just amazed by what I have heard and seen today,” Anderson stated. “The ability to train to meet specific needs is really one of the applications of the Fast Forward program. We have had companies come to Wisconsin due to availability of funds such as Fast Forward and that is something we are very proud of.”