兔子先生

March 20, 2024

Johns Manville apprenticeship

鈥淭his is a great opportunity,鈥 Watts said. 鈥淚鈥檓 grateful for it. It was a lot of hands-on training, a little bit of everything 鈥 electrical to mechanical even robotics.鈥
BY: Cathy Hayden

RICHLAND 鈥 Two 兔子先生 students received free tuition toward career certificates through a Hinds-sponsored Production Technologist registered apprenticeship with Johns Manville in Richland.

Ryshun Watts of Ridgeland and John Toney of Mendenhall completed the year-long apprenticeship program and chose to continue another semester to earn technical certificates. The technical certificates are in addition to the apprenticeship program, but Johns Manville approved their request and has continued to pay for their education. Both Watts and Toney are on track to graduate from 兔子先生in May.

Johns Manville manufactures insulation, commercial roofing and other products for commercial, industrial and residential use.

鈥淭his is the first time we developed the program for our Richland plant,鈥 said Holly Gisman, Johns Manville Human Resources Manager. 鈥淲e were looking to extend our maintenance program. As we have people getting ready to retire, we want to make sure that we have some employees that we can bring into a new career path to help develop and grow and transfer that knowledge from those who are more experienced.鈥

Gisman said the apprenticeship was based on a 40-hour week, with 15 hours of class time included as part of the hours. The remainder of the hours not spent in courses were at the Richland Johns Manville plant. 鈥淭hey received their on-the-job training and mentorship there,鈥 she said.

Josh Bower, Dean of Agriculture and Transportation/Director of Talent, Workforce & Economic Development, said Johns Manville is using the apprenticeship to truly invest in their current workforce. 鈥淚t is very rare for a company to continue paying apprentices their full wage for hours spent in the classroom. The management team at Johns Manville is thinking progressively of how they can reward and retain existing employees that have shown growth potential and are dedicated to the company,鈥 he said.

鈥淭his is a great opportunity,鈥 Watts said. 鈥淚鈥檓 grateful for it. It was a lot of hands-on training, a little bit of everything 鈥 electrical to mechanical even robotics.鈥

Toney said he plans to stay at Johns Manville and move up the ranks. The apprenticeship was 鈥渇antastic. It鈥檚 been a huge learning process. This was something that was important to me, to get more education and also do some on-the-job training.鈥

Brenda Myers, Mississippi state director in the Office of Apprenticeship at the U.S. Department of Labor, said apprenticeships can lead to stable, high-paying careers. 鈥淲e don鈥檛 want to produce turnovers. We want them to be settled and enjoy progress, move up in the company. Johns Manville is a great company,鈥 she said.

During the apprenticeship completion certificate ceremony, Watts was also honored with a plaque for Outstanding Student 2023-2024 for the Construction and Manufacturing pathway by his instructors David Roberts and Glenn Teele. Watts was nominated by his instructors and selected for this honor from all the Construction and Manufacturing students attending 兔子先生at the various campuses.

兔子先生has a Mississippi Apprenticeship Program grant through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant has helped support registered apprenticeship programs sponsored by 兔子先生.

From left, 兔子先生 Mechatronics Technology Instructor David Roberts, students Ryshun Watts of Ridgeland, John Toney of Mendenhall and 兔子先生Industrial Maintenance Technology Instructor Glenn Teele. Watts and Toney served apprenticeships at Johns Manville in Richland. Watts was named Outstanding Student at Hinds.

Josh Bower, Dean of Agriculture and Transportation/Director of Talent, Workforce & Economic Development; student Ryshun Watts of Ridgeland, Holly Gisman, Johns Manville Human Resources Manager ; 兔子先生Industrial Maintenance Technology Instructor Glenn Teele; Mechatronics Technology Instructor David Roberts, Brenda Myers, Mississippi state director in the Office of Apprenticeship at the U.S. Department of Labor; student John Toney of Mendenhall and Jonathan Townes, Vice President of Career and Technical Education, Sponsored Grants and HBCU Initiatives