Sterilite partnership trains employees and attracts new business in Davenport

“They don’t have to put a big training department within their organization,” said Dennis Schnoor, Blong Technology Center.

DAVENPORT -  Workforce training is getting a college connection between Sterilite and the Eastern Iowa Community College District.

The Blong Technology Center is all about the future.

"This is a smaller version of what they've got in the factory," said Dennis Schnoor, a business solution consultant.

Sterilite provides a plastics injection machine at the Blong Technology Center.

"It heats it and cools it that fast," he continued.

The machine turns out a pair of products every 20 seconds.

"It's like a sandwich container," he said.

Sterilite started using the Blong Center even before it opened in Davenport.

"We were so close to them, in the same industrial park," Schnoor said.  "But if we can help them do the training, then they don't have to put a big training department within their organization."

Sterilite hires learn how to use the machine, take courses and use labs for certain assignments.  For the first time, the Blong Center is devoting a classroom just to Sterilite.

"It definitely enhances our ability to reach out to companies," said Mike O'Brien, Blong Technology Center.  "This is what we've done, and we've been successful doing it."

There's outreach and experience at the Eastern Iowa Community College District.  Sterilite's on-site job listings will offer more opportunities.

"At the end of the day, we want to look out," said Jim Brattvet, EICC's economic development director.  "Not just one year, but two or three years, and ask them what are their workforce needs, and how can we be a part of that."

Since the Blong Center works with large and small companies, it's improving training and performance all over the region.