Clone of Funding and Grants

Funding and Grants

Employer Workforce Training Funds

Funding and Grants

Job Growers Incorporated has awarded nearly two million dollars in Employer Workforce Training Funds (EWTF) to more than 60 businesses in region 3 since 2004. These businesses have used the funds to train more than 4,000 employees.

The purpose of the EWTF is to create and retain living wage jobs, build a highly skilled workforce and enhance the global competitiveness of area businesses. The funds, from the federal Workforce Investment Act, are distributed every year to the seven workforce investment boards around the state to award to their area businesses for training employees.

Workforce Region 3 businesses receiving training awards have included: A.R.E. Manufacturing, Capitol Manor, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Columbia Helicopters, Forest River, Garmin AT, Givaudan, Hanard Machines, Kerr Concentrates, Kettle Foods, Medallion Cabinetry, Metal Innovations, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Salem Hospital, Silverton Hospital, Westview Products and Willamette Valley Hospice. Employees were trained in a variety of specialties, including Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, demand flow technology, supervisory training, hydraulics, robotics, quality systems training, team leadership training, cultural competency training, ISO training and certification, lean manufacturing, lean English essentials and lean healthcare.

Businesses who have trained employees with EWTF awards from Job Growers are enthusiastic about the outcomes. Here are some examples:

  • Givaudan, a Silverton manufacturer of food flavorings and dried fruit and vegetable mixes, trained six employees in a “Lean English Essentials” program that targeted English language skills to pertinent work tasks. Givaudan says that the training increased communication between Spanish-speaking and non-Spanish speaking employees and overall job performance improved.
  • A.R.E. Manufacturing in Newberg, a family-owned machine shop, used EWTF funds to begin the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. This will help A.R.E. access new markets particularly in the medical and defense industries.
  • Columbia Helicopters in Aurora used EWTF funds to integrate lean principles into its daily operations. The company has diversified from primarily logging operations to all types of heavy-lift operations and maintenance and repair of helicopters. Lean has become more important than ever to Columbia in the challenging economy.
  • Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, located in McMinnville, contracted with OMEP to provide training in lean manufacturing and also instituted a job profiling project in combination with career advancement for their employees. Cascade Steel was also the first company in Oregon to use the National Career Readiness Credential (NCRC) to screen entry level job applicants.
  • Hanard Machine of West Salem purchased a FARO arm machining tool and its operating software Verisurf. The arm greatly shortens the amount of time needed in the special handling of machine parts. Having the arm has allowed Hanard to secure a contract it would otherwise not have been able to and greatly increases the efficiency of many machining tasks.