Arauco opens training school for nursery workers in Chile's Bío Bío region with inaugural class of 150, expects 80 to find employment at company's Horcones Nursery being built near Laraquete

SANTIAGO, Chile , October 8, 2012 (press release) – An innovative project began this week in Arauco commune, located in Chile’s Bío Bío region: the beginning of classes at ARAUCO’s Training School for Nursery Workers, which was implemented as part of the company’s Nuevo Horcones Program. This initiative will allow 150 people to learn a trade to become future workers of the Horcones Nursery or to develop independent businesses of their own.

The courses will be provided by the Forestry Sciences Faculty of Concepción University and cover subjects such as horticulture, and the development of psychosocial skills, conflict resolution and team work. The students enrolled in this training course, 144 women and six men, will attend 132 course hours.

Rigoberto Rojo, manager of ARAUCO subsidiary Bosques Arauco, said: “This is a milestone, it’s part of the change that as ARAUCO we’ve stated and experienced for a few years already, regarding the relationship with our neighbors, our workers. I think this is a turning point in which we decidedly contribute with something tangible to create shared value, by training 150 people of Arauco commune”.

Faculty dean Doctor Manuel Sánchez highlighted that “ today, the students of this school have a company that welcomes them and a university that is providing them with free training, and no standardized test requirements or government student loans”.

Of the 150 students, 80 will go on to work at the new Horcones Nursery, located 1.5 kilometers from Laraquete, and which is currently under construction. Meanwhile, the remaining students will have the skills needed to begin activities in horticulture for the forestry industry or to start independent businesses. They will be guided by a professional for the following six months.

The Training School for Nursery Workers is located next to an Open House that was established in Laraquete, during the citizen participation process that began in January as part of ARAUCO’s Nuevo Horcones Program.

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