BCI Skills Center Graduation at Newco

On January 4, 2023 Newco celebrated the first graduating class of the BCI Skills Center vocational training program at Newco. Congratulations to Alex, Jacob, Steven, and Daniel for all their hard work for the past eight weeks.


This special moment has been years in the making. It all started when Theresa Matlock, Newco’s HR manager, met Darcell Fleeman and Matt Jannings back in 2013. Throughout the next 8 years Theresa worked with Matt and Darcell through on-site assessments and placement of candidates they work with through various agencies. When Matt began working for BCI and told Theresa about the success that the Skills Center/BCI was having with an on-site training program with other manufacturers, she immediately became interested. “I had been working on getting this program started at Newco for the past year, but the timing wasn’t right until earlier this year,” Theresa said.

Steve Caruso, Newco’s plant manager, also became involved and toured the BCI facility along with Theresa and had the chance to see all the great opportunities and possibilities the training program could offer by connecting qualified applicants from BCI to open positions at Newco.

After the tour at BCI, Steve and Theresa discussed the program with Joe, the owner of Newco, and invited Darcell and her team to visit Newco. The BCI team met with Joe to learn more about Newco and walk Newco’s manufacturing floor to identify the areas in the plant that could use the most assistance in order to create the program.

The program started In November 2022 with four BCI students. Throughout the course, the students received instructor-led vocational training on how to assemble commercial coffee equipment, perform subassembly tasks using hand and power tools, follow standard operating procedures, maintain supplies, and prepare packaging and box finished products. Students also spent time mastering soft skills such as effective communication with supervisors and peers, dealing with change, working independently, and navigating workplace expectations.

Steven, Jacob, Alex and Daniel did an excellent job adjusting to parts shortages and staying flexible in order to jump onto different lines depending on Newco’s needs. A typical day started with soft-skills training for the first hour of the day, these skill could immediately be put to use when the students learned hands on training later in the day.

The program culminated with graduation day at Newco. BCI members, Newco lines, family, and loved ones all gathered to celebrate the hard work that Steven, Jacob, Alex, and Daniel put in and what they accomplished individually and together as a team. Newco is looking forward to partnering with Skills Center STL for future training programs. To learn more about Skills Center STL available programs visit their website, skillscenterstl.com.