On-The-Job Training Solves High Desert Manufacturer’s Staffing Challenges
Adelanto, CA – Frustrated with his experiences with staffing agencies, Coast Rubber Inc. General Manager Albert Idowu contacted the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) to learn more about its On-The-Job Training (OJT) program and to gain help in locating workers.
Coast Rubber, a division of TrafFix Devices Inc., operates a 24-hour manufacturing facility in Adelanto that employs approximately 65 people, with plans to add more. A 32-year-old manufacturer of recycled rubber products for the traffic control, environmental, and safety industry, Coast Rubber manufactures all of its own products and takes tremendous pride in their engineering and technical performance.
“It’s critical that I have stability in my workforce. The staffing agencies just weren’t successful for me. Once I met with the County, I started working with them immediately on screening and hiring viable workers who then qualified for the on-the-job training reimbursement,” said Idowu.
OJT assists workers with finding employment, and reimbursing employers that hire workers who lack experience or training. The program pays up to 50 percent of a new employee’s salary, saving the company money normally spent on training.
Idowu emphasized that by working closely with the County, he has been able to provide a “second chance” to individuals with limited education, limited work experience, who receive public assistance, unemployed military veterans or people who may have a criminal record.
“The people who have qualified for this program are so appreciative of the opportunity. I think they feel that no one is going to give them a second chance. Now, twenty-five percent of our workforce has been recruited through this County collaboration. And they are great workers and proud of the chance to be trained and become part of our team,” Idowu shared.
“With unemployment at a record low across the county, our employers are working even harder to recruit and retain their workforce,” said Tony Myrell, WDB Chair. “Employers see the value in giving our special populations the opportunity to demonstrate that they are willing and able to work and do a good job. Plus our team is able to save employers money and time in building their workforce.”
OJT is just one more example of the work that the WDB is doing across the County in partnership with employers. In addition to OJT, the WDB can provide customized recruitments and job fairs as well as a variety of career pathways and youth training and programming. The County also operates America’s Job Centers of California throughout the County to assist unemployed individuals.
“I tell people that we are in the business of saving lives and helping the environment at the same time. Everything we make in this plant is meant to save people’s lives when they are out on the road. Now, by giving people a new chance at a career we’re doing even more,” Idowu said. “I want every business owner to know that there is a tremendous opportunity to help an individual who deserves a chance to prove themselves. You can’t judge someone because of their educational or financial situation, or if they have made some bad choices in their past. You end up eliminating a portion of society that really needs to be put back into the workforce and become a productive part of the community. Some of these folks have become our best employees.”
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 the Countywide Vision.
Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce.