DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — In order to help students find highly-skilled work at Tyson Foods’ new fully-cooked poultry facility in the River City, Danville Community College (DCC) plans to offer a new Maintenance Technology training program.
According to DCC, Tyson Foods’ new facility is expected to be operational and start hiring for maintenance technician roles in early 2023, which coincides with when the first class of students who enroll will complete the new DCC program.
The community college says its intensive hands-on curriculum puts students in the lab where skilled instructors create simulations and production environments to train students with first-hand knowledge of the future applications of their skills. Students who complete the program will then be prioritized in the plant’s hiring process for maintenance technicians.
“The career path we hope our students will pursue at Tyson Foods will begin with roles that pay well and have significant upward mobility,” said Dr. Muriel Mickles, interim president at Danville Community College. “Maintenance technicians have the opportunity to begin their careers with Tyson with nearly $45,000 in annual pay, plus full benefits, with the opportunity to grow into larger and even better compensated roles.”
School officials tell WFXR News that the Maintenance Technology certification will train students in the repair and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment, as well as diagnosing, troubleshooting, and maintaining automated systems.
Tyson Foods reportedly plans to hire nearly 400 team members at all levels for its new Danville facility.
“Tyson Foods strives to be the most sought-after place to work, and we’re thankful for the warm welcome we’ve received from the people of Danville and Pittsylvania County,” said Derek Baucom, vice president of poultry operations for Tyson Foods. “Our new $300 million facility will be highly automated, and we need people from schools like Danville Community College to join our team and work with technologies like automation and robotics. We’re also looking for experienced candidates to fill maintenance and management roles, in addition to production roles. These don’t require any experience and can also present great opportunities to start a career with Tyson Foods.”
DCC says that Tyson Foods offers competitive pay, health, dental and vision insurance, as well as a company matching 401k and stock purchase plan. In addition, the company works to ensure team members have job training, a safe workplace, competitive compensation, benefits, life skills training, and any other tools and resources they need to be successful.
“Students will come away from this training opportunity with the skills to pursue a rewarding career,” said Mickles. “Many of these students will attend classes with zero out of pocket cost thanks to our robust financial aid and scholarship packages.”
According to DCC, 700 hours of training will be offered at the DCC Regional Center for Technical Training (RCATT) in both day and evening cohorts. The day cohort will start on May 2 and graduate in November, with classes held Monday to Friday. Meanwhile, the evening cohort will start on May 10 and graduate in May 2023, with classes held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Students enrolled in the program reportedly have the opportunity to be granted a guaranteed interview and priority placement in a maintenance position.
“We’re thrilled that Danville Community College was able to develop a Maintenance Technology Program that students can complete while we build our facility, so they’ll be ready to go to work when we’re ready to hire,” said Baucom.