GNO Inc. Launches 4th Cohort of Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program

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NEW ORLEANS – From Greater New Orleans Inc.:

GNO Inc. has announced the open recruitment of the fourth cohort of its mechatronics apprenticeship training program. As part of the organization’s GNOu initiative, this program is an apprenticeship including Elmer Chocolate, Laitram, Zatarain’s, Delgado Community College, Northshore Technical Community College and Nunez Community College.  

“The mechatronics apprenticeship program demonstrates that through public-private partnership, we can help our businesses grow, and our citizens find great careers,” said Michael Hecht, GNO Inc. president and CEO.  “Now that we are in our fourth cohort, the mechatronics program is a model for apprenticeship that can be replicated in other industries across the region and state.”

The first graduates of the two-year program graduated in July 2021. Through the training process, enrolled participants receive a combination of on-the-job training at one of the employers, combined with classroom instruction and technical training from all three of the education partners. Applications for the fourth cohort are due by May 13. 

“The mechatronics program has become an invaluable source for our company to train up technicians who understand and can troubleshoot our advanced manufacturing equipment,” said Allison Thomas, talent acquisition recruiting supervisor at Laitram. “We are very appreciative of their commitment to the program and are excited to watch them continue learning and developing with Intralox and Laitram.”

GNO Inc. created the GNOu program as a catalyst for companies to partner with post-secondary schools to create custom-designed training programs as means to recruit employees. New specialization requirements include mechatronics, an emerging, interdisciplinary branch of engineering that combines skills and knowledge in electrical and mechanical systems, electronics, robotics and control systems. Mechatronic workers are employed in many industrial environments, including energy, plastics, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace.

“Today’s high-tech manufacturing environment has opened up significant opportunities for people in Louisiana, especially our younger generations,” said Robert Nelson, CEO at Elmer Chocolate. “While some predicted new advanced technologies and automation would eliminate jobs, we have found the reverse – more jobs are being created.  The challenge today is not finding a job, it is having the skill set required to be successful in that job.  This partnership between business and higher education will provide the key to many people looking for an exciting and fulfilling career.”

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