Nathan Hannah, Steven Ogle First Ever REHAU Polymer Apprenticeship

by | Sep 12, 2017 | Business, City News, County News, Cullman, Cullman City, Get Smart, People, Students

Nathan Hannah and Steven Ogle of Wallace State Community College are true pioneers.

These young men were recognized today as the FIRST EVER graduates of the innovative REHAU polymer specialist apprenticeship program.

They have already transitioned into full-time jobs at REHAU!

Back in May of 2015, REHAU, Wallace State Community College, and Cullman County Schools announced a new REHAU Academy that offered paid apprenticeship opportunities to Fast Track for Industry dual enrollment students beginning in the fall of that year.

REHAU officials from Cullman and Germany had been in intensive meetings with representatives from Wallace State and Cullman County Schools for several days to work out the details of the new partnership. The goal was to ensure the curriculum achieved desired learning outcomes and also aligns with the German apprenticeship model.

REHAU is among the Cullman area’s largest employers. But as the company continues to experience unprecedented growth, it has been challenged to fill job openings with highly qualified personnel in a timely manner.

“Our target with this apprenticeship program is to train students for jobs,” said REHAU-Cullman plant manager Albert von Pelser-Berensberg. “Not only will students who complete the program be eligible for employment at REHAU, we would consider it a failure if they didn’t work for us after the apprenticeship is completed.”

Polymer specialists are among the most in-demand positions at REHAU-Cullman. Those working in this area are likely to find themselves creating bumpers for Mercedes, one of REHAU-Cullman’s biggest clients. Two thousand bumpers, designed and manufactured to precision, are produced in the Cullman facility for Mercedes each day.

In addition to bumpers, REHAU-Cullman also specializes in a PEXa pipe for plumbing, geothermal heat exchange, radiant heating and cooling, and municipal water service lines. PEXa pipe is a kind of highly engineered and environmentally sustainable polymer pipe pioneered by REHAU to withstand extreme temperatures, excessive surges in pressure and sudden impact.

REHAU’s Automotive Group will soon open its first North American research and development technical center in Cullman, which will be dedicated to injection molding, paint, fabrication, and supply chain processes. The company plans to use this new space to conduct automotive component and systems design initiatives that will then be carried forth into production at the Cullman plant and throughout the world.

“REHAU has long been committed to lifelong learning,” said Hubert Förg, who is in charge of international training for REHAU. “We have apprenticeship programs and advanced training for our employees in Germany and across Europe. At our facilities in other parts of the world–in South America, for example–we have implemented programs dedicated to continuing education for our employees.  This apprenticeship program completes the lifelong learning cycle of opportunities we are able to offer outside of Europe, so it is a very important step for us.”

REHAU

Nathan Hannah, Steven Ogle First Ever REHAU Polymer Apprenticeship

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