POOLER, GA (WTOC) - This evening a group of refinery employees graduated with new certifications from Savannah Technical College.
Imperial Sugar employees, their families, friends and all came out to congratulate them on a job well done.
For the past five weeks, 24 employees were in the classroom at Savannah Tech learning how to operate the planned state-of-the-art refinery.
Now they have their certifications in manufacturing or warehousing and distribution.
"We learned how to use equipment," said James Cuthbert. "We will be able to produce sugar faster and more qualified."
James Cuthbert is the packaging supervisor for Imperial Sugar, and we caught up with James on his first day in the classroom, and now five weeks later we are here to see him and the rest of his colleagues graduate.
"It assures us that we still have a job, not that we never did, but makes us feel like we are gonna move forward," said Cuthbert. "It makes me feel real proud to have this honor with the help of our leaders."
Renee Horne earned her certification in warehousing, she says this was a unique opportunity.
"It's makes us come together more, our teacher really taught us how to work together," said Horne.
And together they now have their certifications.
CEO John Sheptor was at today's graduation, and told these employees they are now leaders, and thanked them for being the first ones to step up to the challenge.
"I want you to thank you for supporting each other our company will be better because of you done the past few weeks and I want to thank you for leading that change," said Sheptor.
Now 24 employees have their certifications, and the goal is to have 250 employees certified by this time next year when the refinery should be fully operational, at Savannah Tech Crossroads campus.