San Bernardino – In-House Employee Development Program Creates Next Generation of Workers
Workforce Investment Board helps fund California Steel’s craft development program
San Bernardino, CA (November 4, 2011) The County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has been an instrumental partner in helping local manufacturers such as California Steel Industries, Inc. (CSI) successfully graduate 34 electricians and 17 mechanics from its craft development program. The in-house program provides on-the-job training and mentoring for employees to become “A” level electricians, mechanics or machinists. Starting salary for the trainees is $20.17 per hour. Upon graduation, an electrician’s pay increases to $32.32 per hour; machinists and mechanics to $30.22 per hour.
Currently, CSI has 43 employees in their training programs who attend classes tailored specifically to their respective trades at Chaffey College and San Bernardino Valley College. Employees from member businesses of the Manufacturers Council of the Inland Empire also attend classes.
“The program began 13 years ago and we have been very successful in developing high quality technicians who have become fully qualified craft workers at CSI,” said Brett Guge, Executive Vice President Finance and Administration at California Steel Industries, Inc.
A survey of 800 manufacturers conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in 2005 reported that more than 80% experienced a shortage of skilled workers. When California Steel’s regional and national efforts to recruit qualified “A” level electricians, mechanics and machinists fell short, CSI responded by creating the craft development programs assisted by the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board.
“Our company faced a shortage of skilled craft workers as our current workforce neared retirement age,” said Guge. “Even in this economy, we could not find qualified people to step into these positions.”
“Manufacturers across the nation are having trouble finding skilled workers, but here in San Bernardino County, the Workforce Investment Board supports our employers and employees with federally funded training programs to develop our local workforce with the skills local employers seek, said Chair Josie Gonzales, County of San Bernardino Fifth District Supervisor.
The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board provides services to all manufacturers throughout the county. The Business Resource Team reaches out to employers of all sizes to help train and develop skilled employees as well as provide no-cost recruitment and hiring services. In 2010, the Business Resource Team saved county employers $3,647,877 through On-the-Job Training program reimbursement, and helped nearly 6,000 job seekers gain employment.
Employers and job seekers can find more information about the job training programs and services through their local San Bernardino County One-Stop Employment Resource Centers located in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Hesperia. Please visit:http://www.sbcounty.gov/csb-win/wia.htm.
About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County
The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. The WIB strives to strengthen the skills of the Countys workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources which generate jobs and investment.
The Workforce Investment Board, through the County of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life, and the BRCs support and provide services to the Countys businesses including employee recruitment.