Skilled to Work: JCB building a workforce from within

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - As JCB North America continues to grow in Pooler, the company continues to develop a program to build its workforce from within.

A manufacturing team with hundreds of skilled workers is building the next generation of machines. Some members of that team are taking advantage of an opportunity to learn on the job and in the classroom.

“They kind of helped me push forward into my education,” third year JCB apprentice Khalil Marrero said. “They’re really the reason why I’m here and still choosing school.”

Marrero is one of 31 apprentices currently in the program at JCB. He has a job, a paycheck, and is about to earn his degree from Savannah Tech.

“Our apprentices come in and from day one they have full pay and benefits,” Tonya Poole, JCB vice president of Human Resources, said. “We also pay them for their time at school so every hour that they’re logged in on campuses is paid for by JCB.”

JCB launched the first of four apprenticeship tracts in 2012, in partnership with Savannah Tech. The five-year program includes a two-year degree and the chance to learn different jobs within the company.

“Instead of being simple minded, it opens your mind to each different spot in this company and where you can be put at eventually,” Marerro said. “I mean it gives you a lot of choices of what you want to do.”

“The experience throughout all the all the rotations definitely made it worth it,” Kyle Koskela said.

Koskela joined the apprenticeship program out of high school in 2014. After completing his five years, he stayed on full-time as a team leader with JCB in Experimental Products.

“I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do growing up,” Koskela said. “I had an idea, but this job gave me the opportunity to kind of go throughout the facility, work in all the departments and get an idea what I really wanted to do.”

JCB has also an apprenticeship tract in partnership with Georgia Southern to include higher education. Earlier this year, JCB launched diesel tech program in partnership with Ogeechee Tech.

“When they thought of the idea I was the first one in line,” Marrero said. “When I graduate this spring semester, I already got accepted to Ogeechee Tech.”

For more information on the JCB apprenticeship programs, go to