BENTON HARBOR — Benton Harbor native Ray Satterfield said he feels blessed, and it’s time for him to give back to his community.

He said he will not charge students to take his Worklife Training course at the Benton Harbor Art & Culture Community Center in Benton Harbor, where organizers held an open house Tuesday.

“The reason so many people are here is because they can’t afford to go to school or college,” said Satterfield, who retired from Whirlpool Corp. in 2011 after 40 years. In addition, he started teaching classes at Lake Michigan College in 1990.

He said the class is an overview for people to understand what it takes to be successful in the manufacturing industry.

“When you leave this course, I guarantee you will have learned something,” he said. “I put this course together to meet a lot of basic needs.”

He said he knows of several local manufacturers struggling to find employees.

“I’m going to share with them things I’ve learned through my career working with companies, working with the plant managers and owners – things they look for in a work force,” he said. “This is an opportunity to give them the basic skills they need to get in the front door.”

Classes will be 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks, starting May 24. He said people don’t have to register for the class.

Also teaching classes at the center will be Emma Kinnard, director of Fresh Start Children’s Garden in Benton Harbor. She said her classes will be in floral design and landscaping. She hasn’t set times for her class, yet.

Kinnard is in her 11th year running the children’s garden and moved her office to the center. 

For more information about any of the classes, call Kinnard at 325-9455. 

The center opened in the former Lighthouse Ministries building at 275 Pipestone St. It is also the home of BANCO, led by Edward Pinkney.

Contact: lwrege@TheHP.com, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege