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Berry Plastics partners with VC for skills training

By FROM NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 22, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken, right, presents a skills development fund grant award to Berry Plastics Plant Manager Tom Watson, left, and VC President Tom Butler.

Victoria College and Berry Plastics Holding Corporation & Polymers and Colorants, Inc. recently earned a $180,000 skills development grant to train 272 Berry Plastics employees.

The grant comes from a $90 million Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund that's available to employers and educational institutions statewide.

Grant funds were presented on Jan. 20 at the Berry Plastics location by Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken.

The training, which includes leadership, computer skills and conflict resolution classes, will amount to more than 13,000 contact hours of course instruction.

Berry Plastics will also benefit from funding for proprietary training, such as lead packer, drawstring operator and twist tie operator courses.

"Victoria College has a history of partnerships on Skills Development Fund projects with regional petrochemical partners," said Jennifer Yancey, vice president of college advancement and external affairs at VC. "Combined, these projects have already provided nearly $2.8 million and trained over 2,400 regional workers in both highly technical and soft skills areas and a new SDF grant was recently awarded to the petrochemical partners for another $2.9 million."

Yancey said continuing successful partnerships is "critical to the industry and has far-reaching effects on the overall regional economy."

The grants are flexible and customizable, depending on area needs.

"In our area, we've had awards for large industry consortiums such as what was awarded to the petrochemical consortium late last year, and now to a single business, Berry Plastics," said VC President Tom Butler. "This funding continues to provide a tremendous economic impact in our area by helping local employers provide training for staff that makes them more productive, promotable and marketable."

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