YVC’s Job Skills Program partners with Portco Packaging to upskill workers

Yakima Valley College announces a new partnership with Portco Packaging through the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) Job Skills Program (JSP) to improve employee skills in our community. With a grant of $47,247, this partnership will enable Portco Packaging to provide necessary industry-specific training to its employees.

Over the next several months, training will be provided to 28 workers in the Yakima Valley.

“Yakima Valley College is thrilled to be partnering with Portco,” said JSP Coordinator Kelsey Brontide. “Projects like this one provide vital training for local employees who need upskilling. As the host of this grant program, YVC has the distinct honor of partnering with local businesses, assessing the greatest needs among their employees and building customized training plans to meet their objectives.”

“Portco has demonstrated their dedication to providing education and support for their people and we are fortunate and excited to come alongside them as they do. For this partnership we will offer the opportunity for instructors of the college to train workers on leadership, business management and effective supervision,” continued Brontide.

YVC will also partner with Impact Washington to provide specialized training for courses including Lean New Product Development and TWI (Training Within Industry).

Benjamin Smith, Portco plant manager and continuous improvement leader, said the training opportunity allows the company to continue to support its workforce. 

“The JSP programs offer our employees great opportunities to gain skills and thrive in the organization,” said Smith. “The JSP programs are tailored to our needs as an organization and range anywhere from lean manufacturing training to supervisory and soft skills training.”

According to Smith, the training will provide employees with skills for both their work and personal lives — which in turns benefits Portco with higher retention rates and reduced training costs — ultimately improving the company’s efficiency and profitability.

“I can’t say enough good things about the JSP program,” he said. “The quality of trainers and subject matter is on par or better than most other training organizations. More organizations should be taking advantage of these programs.”

For Impact Washington this partnership and use of standardized training will help them provide Portco with a cornerstone for success.

“Through Training Within Industry and Job Instruction, we are committed to equipping Portco with a highly skilled workforce, leading to reduced waste, improved safety and streamlined operations,” says Steve Capuano, southwest regional account executive, Impact Washington-NIST MEP. “This dynamic project embodies our enthusiasm for driving impactful change and working alongside Portco’s dedicated team.”

As a third-generation family-run company, Portco strives to make high quality, safe packaging in the most responsible way. It was one of the first West Coast packaging companies to earn the highest level of SQF, the highest rating for food safety in the industry. They make multi-wall bags, stand-up pouches and printed roll stock. Plants are located on each side of Mt. Adams in the state of Washington and packaging appears on store aisles from Milwaukie, Ore., to Melbourne.

The training is made possible by a JSP Grant from the SBCTC. The JSP provides funding to licensed educational institutions, like YVC, in Washington and provides a portion of the training costs. Funds are awarded on a first-approved, rolling basis throughout the fiscal year.

For more information about YVC’s WorkFirst programs visit: yvcc.edu/academics/workfirst.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu