City firms get $631,000 in state workforce training funds

newsletter-110-3NEW BEDFORD — Seven city manufacturers large and small have been selected to recei ve state workforce training funds, a move officials say will create 40 jobs and avert 35 layoffs.
Speaking alongside Mayor Jon Mitchell and area officials, Secretary Joanne Goldstein of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said the funds will go to train 180 workers.
“And we’re really happy that a good chunk of it is going back to New Bedford area employers now,” Goldstein said.
The grants come from the Workforce Training Fund, which is funded by employers who pay unemployment insurance, contributing nearly $8 a year per employee, Goldstein said.
The New Bedford grants are “really showcasing a consortium of local businesses that are making use of this very important tool we have,” she said.
The three grants total about $631,000 and have leveraged an additional $833,000 in private investment from participating companies. Those include Acushnet Company/Titleist Golf Ball Division, Aerovox Corp., Davico Manufacturing, EPEC Engineered Technologies, Five Star Manufacturing, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing and Precix.
Goldstein said the businesses employ between 35 and 2,200 employees, adding that they represent diverse product lines with a common challenges: “to hire employees with skill sets required to be competitive in this fast-paced, highly technical environment.”
The workforce training, which began in April, will continue over two years.
Employees will be paid for the training, which will take place during normal shifts.
The New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and Bristol Community College collaborated to apply for the grants.
Mitchell said the U.S. can compete with emerging economies not through low cost but through efficiency and the “skillfulness of our workforce.”
“We have a very skilled and hard-working workforce here, but we know that to compete well in a global economy we’ve got to continually upgrade our skills and that’s what these grants will do,” Mitchell said.
Following the event, Nancy Snyder, president and CEO of Commonwealth Corp., which administers the Workforce Training Fund, said much of the training is aimed at boosting “operational efficiencies.”
“How do you document the production of a specific part?” she said. “How do you work as a team? Where is there waste in the system, where is there duplication in the system, and how do you eliminate that?”
Additional training will center on leadership and advanced manufacturing concepts.
Snyder said the new jobs expected are not funded by the grants, but will result from the companies’ increased productivity and ability to compete in new markets.
Source: The Standard Times
May 03, 2013 12:00 AM
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