Zumbiel Packaging(www.zumbiel.com), one of thelargest independent paperboard packaging companies in the U.S., has partnered with the state of Kentucky and Gateway Community & Technical College to provide a new training program offering interpersonal and technical development training for all Zumbiel employees. The training is focused on the core job related skills and functions of each position at Zumbiel, from production associates to managers. The program is largely funded through the Kentucky Workforce Investment Network System Funding (KY WINS), a program of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System that provides funding to companies willing to invest in their employees through a structured training program.

Training became an area of focus for Zumbiel in 2011. Last year, the company consolidated its two Cincinnati facilities into one larger facility in Hebron, Ky. This, along with the overall improvement of the economic climate, triggered an internal restructuring of company operations and employee roles and responsibilities. Additionally, at the time, 20% of the company’s workforce was through a staffing agency, and another 10% had three years or less of service. This resulted in Zumbiel pooling its training resources, both internal and external, to establish effective training processes and a team of trainers.

The mission of the training and development team is to support the company’s business goals by providing a structured learning experience for interpersonal development and operational training for all Zumbiel associates. The training classes are conducted at Zumbiel’s facility in Hebron, in two- and four-hour blocks. The interpersonal development portion of the training program, provided by Gateway College, is focused on work ethic, communication skills, time management, integrity, and teamwork, all with an emphasis on specific Zumbiel positions. The operational and technical training, provided by an experienced leadership team at Zumbiel, is focused on job related skills, addressing all core functions of a position.

“Our new approach to training and development will significantly improve our business,” says Joe Norton, senior vice president, sales and customer service at Zumbiel. “We’re happy that we can provide our associates with the training they need to succeed, and we’re proud that the state of Kentucky recognizes Zumbiel as an important contributor to local economic growth.”

Based on the success of the 2012 training program, Zumbiel has been approved to receive a 39% increase in KY WINS funding for 2013. The company will use the additional funds to expand its offerings to include further technical training for Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and structured skills training for mechanical and electrical associates.