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John Milburn: Got training? COC has funding

Posted: July 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
John Milburn John Milburn
John Milburn

Keeping up with changing technology, doing more with less, and not compromising quality can present daunting challenges for today’s organizations.

Whether your business is part of the supply chain getting squeezed by prime contractors, or an organization trying to remain competitive, businesses need skilled people who are capable of doing and managing a variety of tasks.

This means training and cross training your existing workforce to be able to keep up with demand. To increase the skills and abilities of their workforce many organizations need targeted technical and soft skill training programs, but training programs take time and resources and can be expensive, especially when training a large workforce.

That is why California provides several sources of funding to support a trained workforce for California employers.
One such source is the Employment Training Panel — or ETP as it is commonly referred to (

The ETP program is funded by the Employment Training Tax paid by California employers, and targets firms threatened by out-of-state and international competition.

Since its inception in 1983, ETP has reimbursed California employers $1.2 billion for training over 760,000 workers in 77,000 businesses. Employers match training funds awarded by ETP for training existing workers, making these projects true public-private partnerships.

The Employee Training Institute (ETI) at College of the Canyons (COC) has received its 11th Employment Training Panel (ETP) contract approved in the amount of $401,835.

These funds are used to substantially reduce training costs for eligible employers including manufacturers and many others. Many local employers have already submitted paperwork and are approved to take advantage of these funds.

This is a Multiple Employer Contract (MEC) which allows ETI to offer training reimbursement to many employers across several industries.

While there are eligibility requirements for the employer and employee, this type of contract allows employers to take advantage of reduced training costs for most training topics.

Here is an example of how much ETP funds can reduce training costs in a 40-hour Lean Manufacturing training program for 10 eligible employees at ETI:

Actual cost of program: $9,700
ETP reimbursement amount: -$7,200
Cost to eligible company: $2,500

Lean Manufacturing training is designed to produce results in such areas as cutting waste, reducing the amount of money tied up in work in progress, reducing the number of items requiring rework and increasing stock turnaround.

Other training programs focus on skill improvement in areas such as blueprint reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, project management, Six Sigma, SolidWorks and Mastercam CAD systems, hazardous waste management, and many other technical training topics.

In addition ETI offers ETP funded training in leadership, communication, teamwork, conflict mediation, supervisory and management skills. There is a wide-range of topics that can be customized to meet business goals.

Employees eligible for ETP funded training include frontline through management and training is offered at the beginning level through advanced levels.

ETP funded training is one of the best examples of California employers’ tax dollars coming back to assist industry in remaining competitive and staying in California.

Utilizing state funds to offset training costs is good business. Developing a training plan that is driven by business goals and utilizes state funds is smart business.

After all, just increasing skills and abilities of your workforce may not help your business grow in the direction you desire. Investing time and energy to build a focused training plan is a critical tool in keeping companies competitive and will pay dividends well beyond the initial investment.

John Milburn is the Director of the Employee Training Institute (ETI) at College of the Canyons. Milburn’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information about ETI please call (661) 362-3245 or visit



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