When Truth Reels, a Northumberland County company that makes superior fishing reels, found that demand for its products was exceeding the number it could supply, its owner and founder, Wes Seigler, turned to Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce Development Office for the additional highly trained workers that he needed. A meeting with RCC’s vice president of workforce development, Jason Perry, allowed him to state his specific training requirements, and to explore funding options — federal, state, and local — to support this training.
Truth Reels needed workers; Shawn Talley needed a job. An outstanding high school graduate who had enrolled as an engineering major at a large university, Talley found the contrast with his rural upbringing overwhelming and decided not to return for a second year.
“He came to RCC seeking direction, and looking for a program that would lead to employment,” says Marjorie Lampkin, director of RCC’s Office of Career and Transition Services (OCATS, a department of RCC-Workforce).
An OCATS career coach helped Talley to develop a career plan that included taking an online CNC (computer numerical control) Machinist Operator course distributed by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
After completing the classroom portion of the course, Talley interviewed for a position at Truth Reels; he was accepted into a hands-on training program, and became a full-fledged employee in July 2015.
“In the short time since he was hired,” says Lampkin, “Talley has earned a pay increase and is excelling on the job.” He continues to work towards earning a certification in machining from NIMS.
“The workforce development and OCATS teams at RCC can quickly connect individuals to training and great opportunities in the workplace,” says Perry.
“We are thrilled to be a partner with Truth Reels in Burgess as we work together to build a strong workforce in our region … one employee at a time. Shawn Talley is one of the many success stories within RCC’s Workforce Development Center, and we are proud to serve our community by continuing to create career pathways for our students.”