Specialized Apprenticeship Training

We hear plenty about the lack of skilled workers within our mold building facilities, but we can't ignore the fact that that same problem plagues our technology suppliers. Here is one steel producer's take on this challenge.
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Like many companies, Bohler-Uddeholm Corporation (BUC) has confronted a shortage of trained personnel in the area of steel sales technology, so the company decided to approach this situation by recruiting and training young people internally through a specialized apprenticeship program.

According to Bohler-Uddeholm Apprentice Program Manager Mike Guscott and Senior Technical Manager/Marketing Director Patricia Miller, the company is recruiting a small number of highly motivated individuals who are committed to becoming sales professionals. They provide a strong foundation based on sales training and technical education in order to develop the skills necessary to become a successful member of the sales team.

Guscott and Miller review the program details with me.

Eligibility: Applicants who have a college degree or equivalent experience can apply to the Sales Apprenticeship Program. Preference is given to highly motivated applicants with superior communication skills.

Procedure: The 18-month Sales Apprenticeship Program recruits and hires apprentices in selected areas throughout the United States. They receive basic instruction and training in sales, marketing, product knowledge, heat treatment and metallurgy.

Initial Assignment and Training: All Sales Apprentices begin their employment assigned to a BUC steel service location. Training includes warehouse operations, customer service and basic product information. As employment progresses, training entails operational capabilities, information technology and customer resource tools.

An introductory metallurgical self-study course, as well as internally developed courses in steel making and steel metallurgy, heat treatment, nondestructive testing and application-based training is provided. Exams are conducted for the self-study course, with final overall reviews by Technical Managers.

Budgeting and Sales Coverage: After the Sales Apprentice completes his or her basic training and is ready to work in outside sales, a specific account base or territory will be assigned. A sales budget will be made to cover all accounts for whom the apprentice has responsibility.

Program Completion: The goal is for the graduate to have learned the basics of BUC products and services, steel and heat treatment, sales and marketing. After completion of the 18-month apprenticeship program, the Sales Apprentice will graduate and receive a graduation certificate.

If you are interested in learning more or in becoming a part of this program, email hrdept@bucorp.com.