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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Job Growers Incorporated

Employer Workforce Training Fund

Community Challenge/Problem

Oregon and the local area have experienced two recessions since the beginning of Workforce Investment Act funding in 1998. Both recessions, and especially the most recent one, have challenged the abilities of small and medium-sized businesses to access the employee training needed to stay competitive in the global economy.

Board Solution/Innovation

The Employer Workforce Training Fund (EWTF), a set-aside from the state’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding, was made available to local workforce investment boards. Job Growers Incorporated has awarded EWTF funds to more than 60 local businesses. The businesses have trained their employees in a variety of specialties including Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, hydraulics, robotics, cultural competency, lean English essentials, and ISO (Quality) training and certification.

Outcomes & Results

The 60 businesses awarded EWTF funds have trained more than 5,000 employees. Because the training helped businesses stay competitive, layoffs were averted, and a number of businesses were even able to grow and add jobs in the worst economic downturn the area has seen since the 1980s.

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