As a small manufacturing firm in a tight labor market, Affordable Plastics Inc. in Ontario knew it had to do something different to acquire the advanced skills and expertise needed to grow its business and stay competitive. It found its solution through the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) Incumbent Worker Training Program. This program is designed to help small manufacturing businesses provide advanced technology training for their employees. Working with NTMA Training Centers of California, the WDB offered employers the opportunity to enroll workers in 288 hours of hands-on training in computer-aided manufacturing.
“A company of our size couldn’t do this on our own,” said Aldo Villalpando, vice president at Affordable Plastics, a bottle manufacturer with 10 employees. “We want to grow our business, and in order to do that, we need to bring in injection molding and produce product differently that we have. This program gave us the training to do that.”Villalpando felt strongly enough about the program that he enrolled himself – along with three other Affordable Plastics employees. They were part of a unit of seven workers from different companies that took part in the four months of training in how to use CNC Machining and Mastercam software. For Affordable Plastics, the training has given it the technical and mechanical expertise it needs to make its own molds and hard-to-find parts. It also has allowed the company to increase the capacity of its staff without having to hire additional personnel. Charles Meisner Inc., a commercial products manufacturer in Ontario, was another company that took advantage of the training offered through the WDB program. “Finding qualified workers in the open market can be a formidable challenge during robust economic times,” said Chris Meisner, vice president. “This kind of training is extremely valuable,” Meisner said. “It’s harder and harder to find qualified people out there to do the work. We need to train our own.” Affordable Plastics and Charles Meisner Inc. were among four companies that took advantage of the WDB program sending employees to the training. Tony Myrell, WDB Chairman, said the program is an example of the type of innovation WDB is bringing to meet the labor needs of the region’s growing businesses. “The irony is that a booming economy can make it even more difficult for companies – especially smaller ones – to find the workers they need. For those same small businesses, the cost of training workers can be prohibitive. Here, we’ve created an opportunity for companies to become part of a collaborative training program, free of charge to them,” Myrell said. The CNC Mastercam training is funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and WDB’s Slingshot program, which engages businesses to identify their specific workforce needs. Information on future sessions is available by contacting the WDB at (800) 451-JOBS. About the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the county’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources, which generate jobs and investment in line with theCountywide Vision. The Workforce Development Board, through the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences. In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs. Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce. Also follow us on: Facebook www.facebook.com/SBCountyWDB; Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sanbernardinocountywdb; and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB