State officials visit SGL as part of jobs tour

Photo by Amy Cherry - Shown from left to right, Department of Labor and Industry Deputy Secretary Eileen Cipriani and  Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carol Kilko discuss hiring challenges with Erica Hillebrand, SGL marketing manager and compliance officer, during a recent tour of the St. Marys facility.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

In an effort to highlight the viable career paths in the manufacturing industry, two members of Governor Tom Wolf's administration recently visited SGL Carbon in St. Marys.
On Tuesday, Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary Eileen Cipriani and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary Carol Kilko toured the carbon graphite facility as part of the governor's “Jobs That Pay” tour.
“Exciting and high paying careers are located right in our backyards throughout the Elk County area. Developing and mentoring a pipeline of new industrial workers is vital to our communities’ well-being and economic success,” said Erica Hillebrand, SGL marketing manager and compliance officer. “Here at SGL Carbon, we are proud of the work that we do and we were excited for the opportunity to showcase our industry.”
The tour is one of the state's initiatives to help students and job seekers gain necessary skills to obtain careers on the forefront of today’s technology.
“Governor Wolf is bolstering our future workforce by investing in initiatives to help students get good paying careers more quickly than four-year degree programs,” Cipriani said. “These increasingly available manufacturing opportunities are clean, technology-oriented and exciting. Our visit to SGL Group helped highlight the fact that companies need a highly-trained workforce to fill their 21st century jobs.”
SGL offers a four-year apprenticeship program when upon completion employees are a Pennsylvania-certified journeyman. There are currently six to eight apprenticeships at the facility with training and succession planning a top priority in coming years.
As part of the program, employees are required to pass practical exams. Bookwork is completed on their own time.
Wages at the facility start at $16/hour for general laborers and increase from there.

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