Training opportunities lead to employment at Volvo

Michael Magill, former VR consumer, is a member of the Fixtures Team at Volvo.

Michael Magill, former VR consumer, is a member of the Fixtures Team at Volvo.

People often need a variety of experiences to find their niche in life, and often surprise themselves when they discover the right path. Michael Magill is one of those individuals. He was referred to VR by the Berkeley County School District during his junior year of high school. At the time, Michael was considering various options for completing high school: attend virtual school, obtain a GED, or remain in school and earn his diploma. He tried virtual school, but it did not meet his needs. So he decided to push through the “awkward social setting” of public school to finish his senior year at Stratford High School.

Michael was also undecided on which vocational goal he wanted to pursue. Because of this uncertainty, Michael’s VR counselor worked with him to explore various career paths. He toured and participated in work experiences at Piggly Wiggly, CR Bard, and North Charleston Coliseum.

Following graduation from high school in December 2016, Michael decided to improve his employment and soft skills in VR‘s Training Center in Moncks Corner. At first, Michael struggled with understanding work expectations, and had difficulty communicating with his peers and staff. While in the Training Center, he participated in job preparedness classes, met with the benefits specialist, and engaged in job readiness training. Over time, he began to build his self- confidence, increase his productivity, and improve his communication skills.

During the summer of 2017, Michelle McDonald, Business Development Specialist, spoke with Michael about a Lean Manufacturing Class offered at Trident Technical College through an initiative by Berkeley County Government. The class was designed specifically for individuals who met the general requirements for employment at Volvo, but did not have the manufacturing experience required to obtain an entry level position.

Michael was excited about the opportunity and worked hard to successfully complete the 52-hour course. Shortly thereafter, VR reached out to ReadySC, highlighting Michael’s success in the class and the skills he had exhibited in Job Readiness Training. ReadySC was processing all applications for Volvo and stated that Michael would have to complete their rigorous pre-employment training to be considered. Micheal applied through ReadySC, was accepted, and successfully completed the pre-employment training.

Following this, Micheal was notified by Volvo representatives that he had been selected for a panel interview. Michael was excited for this opportunity and worked closely with VR staff, who conducted multiple mock interviews prior to help him prepare. He displayed great improvement and confidence in highlighting what he learned through JRT and the Lean Manufacturing course. In mid-March, Michael received an offer from Volvo and began employment on April 2, 2018.

Michael enjoys Volvo and is proud to work in the paint department, where he is a member of the Fixtures Team. He has found value in the importance of his position and the need to provide quality work and attention to detail.

Michael takes pride in his work and recently said, in an understated way, “This is kind of a big deal.” He is pleased to work for a company which has such a positive reputation, not just in the local community, but around the world.

Berkeley County government sponsored 100 residents in a Lean Manufacturing Class at Trident Technical College for individuals interested in entry level positions at Volvo in the summer of 2017. The training was designed for individuals who had no manufacturing work experience but met the other general requirements for employment. VR participated in three information sessions to promote the training. The events were facilitated by the Department of Commerce, and also included Adult Education, SC Works, and Trident Technical College.

Over the past year, Charleston and Dorchester counties began offering the same type of training for a number of other manufacturing companies, including Mercedes-Benz.

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