Small businesses turn to colleges for training

Small businesses are turning to local community colleges to train employees, reports the Los Angeles Times.

At Juanita’s Foods in Wilmington, for example, employees at the Mexican food manufacturer are learning how to identify and cut waste in each step it takes to make and deliver the company’s signature menudo stew, among other products.

The training takes place at the company’s sprawling factory, taught by experts from El Camino College’s Business Training Center in Hawthorne. Janitors, meat cutters, workers who can the beef tripe and hominy, and those who drive the forklifts are teamed up to learn how to find ways to cut delays and increase yields.

A state grant pays for the program.

Canyon Engineering Products Inc., a Valencia-based machine shop, sends workers to College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. They learn how to use software programs that help design and create parts utilizing lathes, mills, routers and other machines.

Marcos Opinaldo, 60, landed a job in quality control at California Screw Products in Paramount last year after completing an intensive eight-week training program called Aerospace Fastener Boot Camp. The boot camp was created by local companies that need skilled workers, including CalScrew, and nearby community colleges.

Opinaldo was accepted into the program, based at El Camino College’s Compton campus, after his former aerospace-industry employer closed its doors.

Nationwide, community colleges will receive $2 billion in federal grants over the next four years to retrain laid-off workers.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs
ON June 23, 2010

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