Manufacturing Teacher Boot Camp

MD MEP, Berry Global and Pompeian Host First Manufacturing Teacher Boot Camp

Columbia, Md. – Today, Maryland MEP, a non-profit committed to growing and strengthening manufacturing in the State of Maryland, announced the success of the first annual Teacher Boot Camp in partnership with Berry Global, Pompeian and Baltimore County Public Schools. The one day Teacher Boot Camp included middle and high school career and technology education teachers (CTE) from Baltimore County.

The day kicked off at Berry Global, with a great overview of the company’s products and mission which was followed by a tour of the Baltimore plant. In the afternoon, the group of teachers headed down the street to Pompeian where they learned the unique history of the company, toured the facility and had the opportunity to participate in an active panel discussion with a number of Pompeian employees.

The goal of the event was to make educators aware of the opportunities available within the manufacturing industry and break stereotypes about manufacturing careers. Through this experience, teachers were given an inside look at what modern-day Maryland manufacturing looks like and take that information back to their students who may be interested in manufacturing careers.

“Berry Global is committed to building relationships with our education partners, students, and their parents to raise awareness of exciting careers in advanced manufacturing.  Berry offers Company sponsored training for a wide variety of career paths to include jobs in plastics processing, machine maintenance, automation, engineering support, and more,”- Human Resource Manager of Berry Global, Lisa Davis.

Today’s reality is that college is not the only or best path to successful careers for all High School students. Events like this help get the message out that there are great alternative careers for those students right here in Maryland’s manufacturing industry.

“Pompeian is proud to be a part of Maryland’s manufacturing community.  There are many different career opportunities within Pompeian, and we’re always working to develop our team, provide skills training, and promote from within. Participating in the Teacher Boot Camp is a great way to share with the community our passion for manufacturing and olive oil,” – Pompeian HR Manager, Renee Evans.

The average compensation for Maryland’s manufacturing industry is $73, 370 which is almost double the average compensation of Maryland’s private sector which is $46,112, based on 2015 data from the Maryland Department of Commerce.

Combating the growing skills gap and altering negative and inaccurate perceptions of the industry begins with investing in our educators, and this program is doing just that. Alicia Fales, Supervisor of the School to Career Transition at Baltimore County Public Schools stated, “When teachers visit businesses, they see firsthand how what they are teaching matters in the workplace. They are then able to share these real-world connections with students while raising awareness of a diverse range of high-skill, high-wage career opportunities in the area, which is especially true in manufacturing.”

We are grateful for the Hogan administration’s continued support of programs like EARN Maryland, which allow us to host events similar to this one and provide our industry with the training resources needed to compete in this economy.