CoorsTek held a ribbon cutting for its CoorsTek Academy in its Benton location on Tuesday.
Sean Grubb, director of technical training, said this academy has been a year and a half in the making.
"We are really looking forward to this opportunity," he said. "It is very strategic for us."
He also called it a "labor of love."
He explained the idea started with a pilot program in 2021 in Golden, Colorado, where they have four plants. They were trying to support a large ramp up of hiring. He said they were facing a severe labor crunch.
This academy teaches both class curriculum and technical aspects of the work employees will do. He said it also teaches new employees about the culture and environment of CoorsTek.
"It was such a success," Grubb said.
They decided to expand the academy to strategic locations. Grubb said there are no locations more strategic than the Benton plant.
The academy will not only serve new hires, but also be a place to train and develop all employees.
Grubb said there are many people who were key to this academy opening.
He thanked Chief People Officer Irma Lockridge for her guidance and vision.
He praised the talent management team and the local team.
He said CoorsTek created a new tech trainer role, filled by Aaron Erkman, adding that shows the companies dedication providing both space and that resource.
John Simpson was the project lead.
Lockridge spoke saying CoorsTek has had tremendous growth. Last year, they hired 2,300 globally.
As they have continued to grow, they needed skilled workers. Lockridge said the plant requires many unique skills. They are taking advantage of the skilled workers they already have to help teach the next generation.
She said CoorsTek has invested $80 million in the last few years in Benton. Now they are investing in the future developing their own team.
Benton Mayor Tom Farmer spoke calling CoorsTek great neighbors.
"CoorsTek has been part of our family for 40 years," he said.
He said he thinks of them as friendly, quiet, clean and trustworthy.
He told the crowd their philosophy of "Better Today. Better Together. Better Tomorrow." matches Benton's philosphy.
"Thank you for being great neighbors to all of Benton," Farmer said.