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06/03/09 Sierra College wins employee training grant to improve businesses’ competitiveness


Matching funds provide short-term intensive seminars to high-growth industries

ROCKLIN –Sierra College Training & Development secured a $216,000 grant from the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program to provide customized training in process improvement, quality management and mechatronics technical skills to high growth businesses.

Farsighted businesses see this as a great time to train staff, according to Sandra Scott, Director, Grant Development and Career Technical Education for Sierra College. “By developing employees’ skills during the downturn, these businesses will be well positioned to take advantage of opportunities when the economy improves,” said Scott.

Through the grant, over 250 employees will be trained in leading edge technical skills and learn to use continuous improvement tools to increase businesses’ competiveness. The Responsive Training Fund (RTF) for Incumbent Workers will match companies’ commitment to training. Participating organizations include Comtek Computer Systems Inc., the North Valley Lean Training Group in partnership with Butte College, and Northstar-at-Tahoe with other ski industry employers and the California Ski Industry Association.

According to Kathy Hubbard, Deputy Director, California Ski Industry Association, Sierra College has worked with the ski industry to develop a very successful Ropeway Mechatronics training program for ski lift technicians over the last several years. “The ski industry has found an incredible educational partner in Sierra College,” said Hubbard.  “From the administration to the trainers who teach our courses, the college has been nothing but first-rate.”

The grant will enable resorts to provide training more cost effectively. “I’m thrilled that the state has seen the value in our training program,” said Hubbard.  “As our older chairlifts are replaced by more sophisticated models, training in the principles of mechatronics is critical to keep chairlifts running smoothly.  Employees are happy when they have the skills and tools to do their jobs well.”

To be globally competitive, businesses are using process improvement techniques and applying lean manufacturing strategies to cut waste and increase efficiency. Through a consulting process, Sierra College helps businesses identify performance gaps and develops customized training programs in areas such as Process Mapping, Set-up Reduction, Six Sigma, Supply Chain Management, Total Quality Management and Visual Controls (5S).

In addition to Process Improvement and Mechatronics training for employers, Sierra College Training & Development offers on-site employee training in high-tech soldering, supervision, communication and other business topics. Since 1997, Sierra College Training & Development has worked with businesses, manufacturers and technology companies in Northern California. For more information, go to or contact Sandra Scott, at or (916) 660-7801.
Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies and Economic and Workforce Development
(916) 660-7801
Sierra College Training & Development
Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT)
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