NCWorks @ Work: Helping Businesses Find the Workers They Need

When Elite Metal Performance, LLC needed to find a talented new employee, it knew where to turn to for help – NCWorks.

Elite Metal’s 11-person team specializes in making custom trailers, racing products, parts for biomedical companies, installing bailors and offering machine shop services. The business turned to the Centralina Workforce Development Board – a member of the NCWorks initiative – for help with finding the right person for the job.

“Because it’s skilled labor we’re looking for, often times it was difficult to find what we were looking for,” said Michelle Beck, office administrator for Elite Metal. “Even though we were willing to train or be open-minded, it was very hard to find someone with those skills.”

NCWorks helped the company establish an On-the-Job Training (OJT) program, in which the participating business hires someone and trains them for a particular position. As part of the program, the employer is reimbursed for up to half of that employee’s salary. The program allows the company to train a person to do the job in a way that best meets the needs of the employer.

In the past, Elite Metal looked for candidates through OJT without using any type of pre-screening or training process for applicants. More recently, the company asked Centralina to pre-screen candidates first through a six-month process that includes classes on writing resumes, developing personal and communications skills, and more.

“We [felt they were] very selective when it comes to job candidates, and it’s best to take their classes and go through their process rather than doing hiring the way we did it in the past,” said Beck, adding that the training process improved the applicants’ confidence levels and helped them prepare to re-enter the workforce.

OJT is one of many NCWorks services available to businesses, who can also take advantage of free pre-screening and job referrals. Employers are also encouraged to register with NCWorks Online to find and contact applicants whose education levels, skills, and training align with what businesses are looking for in their applicants.

NCWorks and the OJT program paid off for Elite Metal. After the candidates completed the pre-screening and training process, Elite Metal hired one of them as a machine shop worker. That individual has since completed the program and is now a valuable member of the company.

“He’s very willing to learn,” Beck said. “He’s not just here – he’s willing to learn and do things. I think he knows we put time into him and he’s not just someone off the street who we hired, so to speak.”

NCWorks @ Work is a SYNC series highlighting success stories from North Carolina’s integrated workforce development system. More information about NCWorks is online.