SOURCE: San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board

San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board

September 30, 2010 17:37 ET

Emergency Business Funds Provide On-the-Job Training for Laid-Off Workers

San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board Administers National Emergency Grant Funds for Local On-the-Job Training

SAN BERNARDINO, CA--(Marketwire - September 30, 2010) - The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board announced a new On-the-Job Training program funded in the amount of $725,000 from the National Emergency Grant. Focusing on dislocated workers who have been unemployed for more than 99 weeks, the program implemented through the Employment Resource Centers in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Hesperia will compensate businesses to provide On-the-Job Training to workers.

"This program not only benefits laid-off workers and their families, but our local economy," said Sandy Harmsen, Director of Workforce Development in San Bernardino County. "We will help put more of our county's residents to work by providing training that will not only help people develop new skills, but will also empower businesses to grow with a better skilled workforce."

Implemented by the county's Workforce Development Department, this program reimburses participating employers from 50 to 90 percent of the wages paid for an agreed upon period during the time an employee is trained in a new job. Job seekers need to be San Bernardino County residents and enrolled at one of the county's three Employment Resource Centers, located in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Hesperia, CA. Employers can contact the Employment Resource Center by calling (800) 451-JOBS.

Jon Novack, co-owner of Patton Sales Corporation in Ontario, CA, participated in last year's On-the-Job Training program. At the time, he and business partner, Paula Zeidman, were thinking about opening a new division that would employ eight more people and require a capital investment in equipment.

"We were hesitant to move forward. When I spoke with Nick DeMartz at the County Workforce Development Department about the On-the-Job Training program, we were convinced that this program will support our business goals and we decided to participate," Novack said.

Four months after opening the new division, Novack reported profitability. After the employees completed their training period, they were all hired on a full-time basis.

"They all exceeded our expectations," Novack recalls. "This is a great example of government and private industry working together to put people to work, expand businesses and support our local economy. This is the way things should work."

Last August, the San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board funneled $2.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into On-the-Job Training programs. Last year, approximately 489 county residents were hired by 35 employers.

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 Board of Supervisors. The Board strives to strengthen the skills of the County's workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations.

The Workforce Investment Board, through the County's Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the county's 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. The BRCs support and provide services to the County's businesses including employee recruitment.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Sandy Harmsen
    Workforce Investment Board

    Jessica McLeish