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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Customized Training Courses Offered at Local Colleges

Most of the formal job training in the greater Valley area is conducted at community colleges, each of them maintaining a department that trains local workers in many different subjects. Interested companies typically contact the community colleges and state their needs, at which point the school devises a specialized curriculum tailored to the needs of the individual firm. These classes are offered on or off-site, with prices varying depending on the number of weeks and the number of students in a particular class. However, most parties agree that the price is minimal as much of this skill upgrading is subsidized by the state. At these community colleges, companies have generally found an effective and inexpensive way to better the skills of their work force and to stay on-top of new technological and manufacturing trends. Here are the major players in the local job training scene and some examples of the more popular courses offered at each institution: Los Angeles Pierce College Workplace English: At Pierce, the job training instructors are required to go out and job-shadow companies. Each instructor finds the nomenclature that each company specifically uses in business and customizes a course that teaches terms to enable people with limited English-speaking ability to do their jobs more efficiently. According to Judith Trester, Pierce’s director of workforce development, the job-shadowing component allows the institution to truly customize the course to each company. She claims that it takes more time and drives up costs, but ultimately it produces the best results. Harassment Prevention: Pierce started this program in response to meeting a California state law that went into effect on Jan. 1. The law mandated that all supervisors in companies with 50 or more workers need to be trained in the basic rules of harassment in the workplace. As a result of this law, Pierce did a lot of this training, for both line personnel and supervisors. The course teaches what you can and can do in the workplace and specifically what behavior is patently unacceptable. According to Trester, the most common dangers are that people aren’t even aware that they are in non-compliance due to the continuation of old habits. Soldering: Starting in January, the college will begin doing extensive training in soldering to meet the specifications of a large local corporation. The course will teach workers how to put components together in a way similar to welding. Customer Service Training: In the past, Pierce has done many call center training programs with a variety of clients including Health Net (for whom it will begin another program this March). In this 75-hour course, Pierce instructors operate a virtual call center with simulation training. In the last training session that Pierce did, one that finished in November of 2004, all the people that finished successfully were hired by Health Net and Trester anticipates this will happen again in the next call center graduation following the March course. Blueprint Reading: Currently, Pierce is teaching a class to a major international company. The school’s teacher has customized this course for the firm’s specifications for blueprint handling. According to Trester, the firm had quite a few employees that couldn’t read blueprints because they had been hired out of high school where such training is not offered. She believes that the new training will vastly improve the company’s ease of operations. Contact Judith Trester: (818) 710-2549 College of the Canyons Lean Manufacturing: The College of Canyons has a heavy focus on teaching the tenets of lean manufacturing. In the coming year, the institution plans to take lean’s principles beyond the manufacturing world and into the medical field, the insurance field and almost any office scenario. According to Pamela Welden, the director of the college’s employee training institute, the lean courses can reduce waste in duplicative procedures and paperwork, as well as reducing the amount of time it takes to serve the customer. Leadership Training for Managers and Front line Workers: The college has found that companies are looking for leadership skills and want someone to teach them to their managers and front-line workers. COC’s courses aim to focus on communication, understanding “the big picture,” and understanding each person’s personal responsibility and vision. Welden claims that with good leadership, companies are finding their working environment to be much more positive and to run much more smoothly. Equipment Training: These courses are specific to the type of equipment that each company uses an are tailored to the individual manufacturer. The college is aiming to develop the best practices for standardizing equipment operations that increase efficiency for the company and helps them to maximize their operations and increase their output and yield on a daily basis. The college tries to allow companies to produce more with the same number of people, as well as increasing and improving the quality of products so that companies have fewer rejected items. Blueprint Reading and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing: These courses concern measurements and the geometry of how pieces and parts fit together when you’re manufacturing parts that are embedded and that attach to each other. Welden says that knowing how to read a blueprint is critical to knowing how to manufacture the part. She also claims that it also helps from having a production point of the view of the engineers and production people, because they are better able to know how to produce a part when they read the blueprint. This allows them to re-engineer the part so that the part is easier to manufacture and therefore allowing them to reduce the time it takes to manufacture items. Business Skills: The College has broken this down into several areas, with some focusing on inventory control, some focusing on planning for casting and scheduling, some focusing on operation management, others focusing on customer care, and still others geared towards supply chain management. Welden says that with better planning you have better control over your resources and companies aren’t as likely to have too much inventory. Contact Pamela Welden: (661) 362-3245 Los Angeles Valley College Math and English Training: According to Lenny Ciufo, the director of training at Los Angeles Valley College, local companies need their workforce trained in math and English skills. Consequently, Valley offers various vocational math and English courses geared toward a variety of industries, including health care, warehousing and construction. Most recently, Valley started teaching a vocational English class for Warner Bros., as well as business writing classes for people to upgrade their skills. The college always customizes its courses to each industry. Call Center Training: Over the past 11 years, this has been Valley College’s number one training course. The school tailors each class to the specific business and what their customer service needs are. These courses instruct employees how to deal with difficult customers, how to serve customers properly, how to develop a rapport with customers and how to identify and answer those needs. The institution does simulations to train students and has been very active in trying to engage the business community for support. Ciufo says that he wants the business community to look to Valley as a place to develop and hone what skills are necessary for success. Management Supervisory Training: These courses aim to empower employees to make decisions and to help usher them into supervisory positions. Some of the topics that Valley’s instructors focus on are emotional intelligence, teamwork, dealing with difficult customers, effective communication, problem solving and decision-making. According to Ciufo, success often comes down to interpersonal skills. As with the other classes, each course is tailored to the specific needs of each company. Webpage Design and Computer Applications: In these courses, Valley instructors work with employees from various companies and teach them how to enhance their websites. They also teach companies how to have people add to their existing websites, design them and market them. Contact Lenny Ciufo (818) 947-2941 Glendale Community College Software Training: Glendale has begun teaching CATIA software courses. A high end feature based solid modeling design software tailored for manufacturing, design and engineering professionals, CATIA has grown very popular among companies in the manufacturing industry. Another software training course that has recently grown in popularity is called SOLIDWORKS, which is specially made for manufacturing design engineering. With SOLIDWORKS, companies are able to design products that they’ve never been able to design on a computer before, so the turnaround time of what it takes to design a product has been dramatically cut. Team Skills: The college also teaches various courses on learning how to work better with co-workers, as well as classes on presentation skills and customer service training. According to Kim Holland, the program manager for Glendale Community College, whether it’s internal or external training, everyone needs customer training. Holland says that companies that have used this service are managing to retain a trained workforce as a result. She maintains that employees that have graduated from the program are feeling better about themselves because they’re gaining knowledge and jobs no longer become strictly about the pay check and the incentive. Computer Skills: Computer classes are still very popular in Glendale’s job training program. Holland says that people are still requesting courses on how to learn Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Outlook. The courses that the school offers are often about working more in collaboration and includes Groove software. Holland says that these computer skills aren’t often taught in high school and most of the workers that come into the college don’t have any formal training in computers. She reports that the training workers receive at Glendale is very often the first formal computer training that they have ever received. Contact Kim Holland: (818) 957-0024 Los Angeles Mission College Health Care Clerical Assistant Training: The program includes two components: 1) nine weeks of in-class training focusing on computer applications, general office procedures, customer service, business English and math, phone etiquette, and medical terminology; and 2) four weeks of on-the-job training internship at a hospital, clinic, or the private sector. Tech Prep: In collaboration, with seven area high schools, Mission is planning to continue to expand the matrix of schools and courses offered through Tech Prep. The newly developed Retail Management Certificate course will be expanded and marketed. The Hospitality program including food service, lodging and travel and tourism courses will also be expanded this year to provide sanitation and safety courses as well as Food Production for secondary students. Careers In Child Care Training Program: This program was created for welfare recipients who are interested in the field of child development. It offers training to obtain a Pre-school Teacher Permit. The Child Care Resource Center identifies work experience sites for all participants, who are required to complete 24 units of Child Development and 16 units of General Education. Participants also complete 175 days (three hours per day) of work experience (within two years). Special services offered to the participants are: mentoring, counseling, childcare, tutoring, financial assistance, and recognition. Contact Belinda Acuna: (818) 364-7778 The Valley WorkSource Centers The various WorkSource Centers scattered throughout the Valley take members of the community in need of work, sends them to school and pays for their education. Administered by the city of Los Angeles, there are seven centers in the Valley that fulfill these responsibilities Essentially, the city of Los Angeles gives a budget to each WorkSource Center and if someone comes and indicates that they want training, the Centers determine what kind of training to give them. The training cannot last longer than a year and can be done in a variety of different fields from becoming an air conditioning repairman, to being a manufacturer to a computer technician. The WorkSource Centers follow the workers through each step along the way, sending them to vocational schooling at the community colleges or universities in the area. The goal of the WorkSource centers is to train and then place as many workers as possible in the course of a given year. Additionally, these center often foot the bill for tools, transportation costs, clothing and other miscellaneous costs that a worker might need in his or her course of finding employment. Contact: Verdugo Jobs Center: (818) 409-0476 Canoga Park-West Hills WorkSource Center Arbor Education & Training, LLC.: (818) 596-4448 Chatsworth-Northridge WorkSource Centers, Build Rehabilitation Industries: (818) 701-9800 Northeast San Fernando Valley WorkSource Center: (818) 890-9400 Santa Clarita WorkSource Center: (661) 424-1062 Sun Valley WorkSource California, El Proyecto del Barrio: (818) 504-0334 Van Nuys-North Sherman Oaks WorkSource Center Arbor Education & Training, LLC.: (818) 781-2522

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