Blog right triangle How Apprenticeships Enhance Team Dynamics and Innovation at PTA Plastics
Employers | Future of Work |

How Apprenticeships Enhance Team Dynamics and Innovation at PTA Plastics

By Adam Vitcavage

Batman and Robin cannot hold a candle to PTA Plastics’ Christian Howieson and Coda Wear.

Christian is a seasoned quality engineer at PTA Plastics and Coda is his youth apprentice. The partnership has proven to be a dynamic catalyst for both operational efficiency and cultural rejuvenation within their team.

“It’s been a really fun journey,” said Christian. “We didn’t know what was going to happen. It’s our first apprentice, so it was a learning experience.” He quickly discovered Coda’s aptitude for learning and adapting to new challenges, describing him as “a fast learner.”

Coda’s approach to the apprenticeship has been proactive and inquisitive, guided by Christian’s mentoring philosophy of self-belief and independent problem-solving.

“His entire mentorship has been about believing in yourself,” said Coda. He emphasized how Christian encourages him to embrace challenges. “He wants me to struggle for a second so I can grow and become better.”

One notable achievement from Coda was his initiative to streamline their operations. “He saved us hundreds of hours,” said Christian. The apprenticeship also compelled Christian to reassess and sometimes revise longstanding workflows. “He questions things I have been doing for 10 years.”

The duo’s interaction extends beyond professional growth, deeply influencing the workplace culture at PTA Plastics. Coda’s youthful enthusiasm and curiosity have brought a new energy to the team, making the workplace more enjoyable. “I like to have fun at work… being able to have fun at work makes it enjoyable,” said Coda.

Their relationship has not only fostered technical and operational enhancements but has also enriched team dynamics. Christian enjoys the lighter moments too, learning from Coda’s generation. “It’s been very educational to learn the new slang from this new generation. ‘Cringe’ is an example.”

Moreover, Coda’s cultural contributions have been a boon. “Coda has been great with our culture and also adds his own. He makes work more fun,” said Christian. Whether sharing updates on pop culture or discussing academic challenges, Coda fits perfectly into the team’s fabric.

This partnership between Christian and Coda at PTA Plastics illustrates the multifaceted benefits of apprenticeships. They enhance not only technical skills and workflows but also contribute to a vibrant, supportive workplace culture, demonstrating that effective mentorships enrich everyone involved.