There are several job training programs available to companies of all sizes in the greater Valley area but all too often officials in charge at area firms are not aware of the offerings, which are mostly found at community colleges. This report is an attempt at highlighting some of the resources available often at little cost to local firms. As part of the report, the Business Journal contacted several company owners and managers to find out whether they are taking advantage of the job training programs or were even aware of them. The following are some comments: Barry Gump President and CEO, Andy Gump Inc., Santa Clarita “In the past, we’ve participated in job training programs with the College of the Canyons and that’s who we look to for prospective employees in administration and other categories. People that have been trained by COC come in almost pre-qualified because of their classes and education and we also know that we’re getting local people by using COC. I think all of us in the construction-related services industry would like for their job training programs to figure out a way to attract more people to skilled labor positions. Currently, it’s becoming harder and harder to find qualified employees because only 65 percent of construction related skill jobs are being filled. At this moment, there just isn’t enough effort being placed in that component of our industry.” (MUG IN MARCH 28, 2005, P. 13) Fabian Grijalva Director of Human Resources, Precision Dynamics Corp., San Fernando “From working with the various sources for job training in the area, we’ve been able to upgrade the skills of our workers on many levels. We’ve gotten our workers trained in English as a Second Language, basic computer skills Power Point, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and various forms of management training. Currently, we’re getting training in some of the more technical aspects of lean manufacturing. We’re going to concentrate our job training efforts on that this quarter. I haven’t been too disappointed lately with the training offerings. We’ve been able to get almost everything we’ve needed in one fashion or another. We’ve been very satisfied. One of the things that we had been having problems with was someone to teach our workers in pneumatic logistical controls, but eventually Los Angeles Valley College was able to find someone within their own staff that could provide that training. We’ve had no problems with flexibility of the training times or the day of the week. Their efforts have been very accommodating.” George Melamed Owner of UDASH Corp., Chatsworth “We haven’t used any of the job training programs locally. In fact, we didn’t even know they existed. However, I can see how they would be useful because it’s very difficult to hire professionally trained workers. I would love to have the job training programs train our workers how to be quality inspectors because this type of employee is difficult for us to find. Job training would be extremely beneficial for us because it would allow our employees to gain confidence with what they’re doing. Additionally, job training and enrichment would ultimately enable them to earn more money in the longer term and give them more job satisfaction. I’d imagine that they’d perform a lot better and become more productive. Currently, without training they sometimes.” Michelle Warner Human Resources Director, Victory Custom Athletic, Canoga Park “We haven’t used any job training programs because we didn’t know that they even existed. We wouldn’t be opposed to such a thing, but being a small family business we’re currently stretched thin right now and it would inevitably require a great deal of time. In theory, it would be a very helpful thing but whenever you are stretched short it is a major problem to give up your employees for a while to get training. If we were a bit larger, I can imagine that it would be a wonderful thing to do.” Marcelo (Mike) Quiroga CEO and President of Mike’s Roofing Service Inc.,Van Nuys “We have seen great results from the job training courses. After having about six weeks of training in time management and conflict resolution, I saw a different performance. They knew what to do and how to control their time management. Before the training, they weren’t always good at that. In the future, we’re hoping to get more computer training for our workers and we’re working with Los Angeles Valley College to help us. We need to be more computer savvy because everything is computerized these days. Don Schlotfelt Vice President of Pacific Metal Stamping, Valencia “We’ve been extremely satisfied with the job training efforts that we’ve undertaken with the College of the Canyons. It has completely changed the character of our people. We received training in lean manufacturing and at first no one wanted anything to do with that sort of thing. However, by the third class everyone was totally convinced and 100 percent for it. We have statistical proof of how much this training helped our company. For a process called throughput that had formerly taken five weeks in the past, we got the time down to three days after our first 60-hour class. Additionally, we were soon able to improve the percentage of on-time deliveries by 60 percent by the end of that first 60-hour class.
Firms Hook Up to Courses