JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra Continues Developing the Dual Education Curriculum in Latvia and the U.S.

15. March, 2016

JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra, in cooperation with Valmiera Vocational School, has successfully finished its second training course for prospective textile production specialists within the workplace based on a dual education curriculum.

The dual education system has proven to be successful because young people are integrated into the labour market straight out of school. For this reason, the company and Valmiera Vocational School have decided to include two new courses in the curriculum alongside the existing programme for “Textile Production Specialist”, namely, “Chemical Production Operator” and “Mechatronic Technician”, which will be launched in September this year.

Thanks to its previous successful experience in the dual education field, JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra is planning further development not only in Latvia but also in the United States. This spring, an agreement was signed with Oconee Fall Line Technical College, envisaging implementation of a similar workforce education programme in Valmiera Glass USA Corp. and establishing a training centre for potential employees, taking into consideration that newly created jobs in the U.S.-based production facility will require a highly qualified and well-trained workforce. It is planned that the College will provide the appropriate premises for training, while Valmiera Glass Group will ensure the equipment required for modern production training.

From 15 to 19 February, representatives from the College visited Latvia to meet the management of JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra and Valmiera Vocational School, as well as to visit the Valmiera City Local Government and the Ministry of Education and Science with the aim of discussing possibilities for cooperation. During the visit, they discussed the possibility of setting up a workplace-based training programme at Oconee Fall Line Technical College in the same way as has been implemented by Valmiera Vocational School.

“The College offers undergraduate and adult education programmes in various areas; however, professions related to fibreglass production will be a novelty. For this reason, the purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the fibreglass production process and existing education programmes in Latvia, which ensure the specialist qualifications required for production processes. After this initial visit, the College will be able to select the most appropriate teachers and plan a curriculum based on the experience gained in our country”, explains Doloresa Volkopa, Member of the Board and Chief Human Resources Officer at JSC Valmieras stikla šķiedra.

“The dual education is a novelty for the College in the US; therefore, they will closely cooperate with Valmiera Vocational School to build on its successful experience in implementing such a project. It is planned that training in America will take place in the lecture rooms and practice labs of the College, as well as in the training centre, which will be specially equipped with fibreglass production facilities. Students will learn from their College lectors, through lab-based practical work with their facilitators and in the new training centre with their mentors”, points out Doloresa Volkopa.