For Immediate Release Contact: Lori Berman, Communications Specialist 817-695-9173 Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas
Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas Community-Based Job Training Grant Produces Skilled Workers In Supply Chain Logistics
On July 1, 2010, Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas (WSCNT) launched a Department of Labor (DOL) Community Based Job Training Grant (CBJT). This $2.5 million grant was WSCNT's opportunity to expand the CLT certification to a broader audience in the DFW region as well as expansion into the Houston metropolitan area. WSNCT contracted with five training providers; Tarrant County College (TCC), Collin College, Navarro College from the DFW area, and Houston Community College and Lone Star College from the Houston area. However, Lone Star College pulled out of the grant early in the program.
The CBJT grant's primary focus was expansion of the CLT certification program and an introduction to new training partners. Having successfully worked with WSNCT former grant opportunities as a training partner, TCC was asked to partner with WSNCT in an expanded role. TCC received the largest share of CLT certification program assessment slots and was also asked to deliver supplemental training modules that addressed the specific needs of the local Supply Chain and Logistics Cluster. TCC's additional education modules included forklift training, OSHA, CPR, cell phone repair, and cell phone soldering. Given the nature of WSNCT's employer logistics operations, the fork lift training was the largest of the additional modules offered with 478 people receiving this additional module.
WSNCT also focused on placement and retention of trained certificate holders and therefore set goals to place trainees, retain them with their employers, and deliver them into positions related to the logistics industry. "The CLT certification was developed for the logistics industry and we wanted to move as many trainees as possible into positions within that industry," said David Setzer, WSNCT Executive Director. The goals set for the CBJT grant included placement (80%), retention (85%) and logistics related employment (90%). There were some changes made through the duration of the grant including the reallocation of the modules set aside for Lone Star College, however that number was small compared to the total being offered and were reallocated and utilized among the remaining training partners.
At the end of the grant period WSNCT and grant partners were able to exceed all of the goals set prior to the grant being awarded. The actual numbers include 83.1% on placement versus a target of 80%, 85.4% on retention versus an 85% target and 92.7% on Logistics Related Employment versus a target of 90%. "Meeting these goals was important for us not just to meet the requirements of the grant but to meet the demands of our targeted industry. Exceeding the 85% target on Retention can be an indicator that the CLT training is beneficial for both the employer and employee," said Setzer. During WSNCT's initial consultation with employers regarding employee turnover and the costs associated with high turnover they identified training of front line workers as an instrumental aspect of retaining employees. Employee retention was also identified as a key component of long term cost containment since rapid turnover carries such a high cost in continual training of new employees. The actual retention rate realized here is a positive sign for the industry and demonstrates the value of front line certification.
Workforce Development Boards work with local employers, educational institutions, and economic development agencies to develop a comprehensive regional workforce strategic plan with a focus on developing a trainable and available workforce. Through these partnerships, skills and education are identified to meet the demands of the industry. Follow the U.S. Conference of Mayors Industry Sector Strategies campaign October 3-7, 2016
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