August 1, 2019
Missouri Star Quilt Company and North Central Missouri College
Partner to Deliver Apprenticeship Programs
Missouri Star Quilt Company, Inc. of Hamilton, Mo., recently partnered with North Central Missouri College (NCMC) to create three apprentice training programs to enhance the skills of their workforce. As a result, 21 people completed a registered apprenticeship program through the US Department of Labor while 20 apprentices earned a college certificate.
In June 2018, three registered apprenticeship programs were initiated at the company with related skill training provided on-site by NCMC. The programs and coursework were supported by a grant from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development’s Missouri Registered Apprenticeship Program (MoRAP). “The MoRAP program allowed NCMC to create new training programs for employers that specifically meets the needs of those employers,” noted Jason Helton, Director of Business and Industry Partnerships at NCMC.
Registered apprenticeship programs were created and approved by the US Department of Labor in three areas: customer service representative, material coordinator, and retail store manager. The programs included on-the-job training focusing on the skills and competencies of the occupations and related academic and technical instruction was provided by NCMC. The related instruction was delivered in such a way that college credit was available to the apprentices which could lead to a college certificate in Business Management Essentials.
Mardy L. Leathers, Director, Workforce Development for the State of Missouri added “this program exemplifies the State’s goal to expand and modernize registered apprenticeship programs in direct response to the need to match employers and workers with skills to succeed in today’s economy.”
Julia Birkeness, Director of HR for Missouri Star, shared that she is “very proud of our employees who participated as it showed their commitment and dedication. The Apprentice Program gave them exposure to business challenges outside of their normal responsibilities and taught them how to apply the knowledge they gained. As a result, many have already been able to progress in their career at Missouri Star and we look forward to the future success this program will bring all of the participants.”
While the apprentices completed on-the-job training during work shifts, the related instruction was provided on-site by NCMC instructors in the evening. The program concluded in June 2019. Many of the apprentices were able to participate in the college’s spring commencement ceremony and the company reception that followed soon after. A company recognition ceremony was held in late July where the apprentices received their apprenticeship completion certificate from North Central Missouri College President, Dr. Lenny Klaver, and Missouri Star CEO, Mike Mifsud.
Missouri Star Quilt Company was established in 2008 and is an industry leader is supplying pre-cut quilting fabric and material. Over 300 people are now employed in the company operations based in Hamilton, Missouri. The family owned business includes warehouse and distribution facilities as well as numerous retail shops and educational opportunities to support its e-commerce and retail customers. Missouri Star is the biggest quilting channel on YouTube with over 166 million views and over 575 thousand subscribers. The company has received national recognition for business practices and entrepreneurship, among the awards are: 2015 Small Business of the Year by the US Small Business Administration, 2018 Forbes Small Giant Award, and 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2019 of the Heartland.
Front row (from left to right): Amanda Gray, Ana DeJesus Gutierrez, Sarah Garland, Jennifer Souza, Estella Granville, Adriana DeJesus Gutierrez
Middle row (from left to right): Sarah Harvey, Sara Thomas, Andrea Kinzler, Teresa Kinzler, Kelly Gallion, Kaitlyn Cooley, Brooke Barnett
Back row (from left to right): Julia Birkeness (HR Director), Kristeana Reed, Kelsey Stollings, Beth Snow, Kassandra Carr, Keslie Hays, Lisa Gray, Corey Adams, Brenda Glidewell (HR Training & Development Manager)
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