published on August 4, 2016 - 6:44 PM
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Valley employers seeking to train employees can now turn to the College of the Sequoias Training Resource Center as a low or no cost option.

The California Employment Training Panel (ETP) recently concluded that the Visalia-based college center meets the basic eligibility requirements to provide training cost reimbursement to employers in the Central Valley. The reimbursement means employers who use the center will pay a considerably reduced rate or even no cost for training their employees.

“The availability of this reimbursement will allow employers to provide their employees with the necessary training to ensure their company remain competitive,” Jorge Zegarra, the director of the Training Resource Center, said in a statement. “If employers felt they couldn’t afford training before, we think they can now.”

The ETP is a business and labor supported agency that assists employers by providing funds to offset the costs of job skills training. It is entirely funded by the Employment Training Tax paid by California employers and collected alongside the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax. If an organization is subject to this tax, then it is eligible to receive training cost reimbursement.

Last year, ETP awarded over $11 million in funds to 13 Community Colleges across the state. The funds are being used to train 13,693 employees in California companies.

The 2015-2016 employer surveys that the Visalia Economic Development Corporation has conducted in partnership with the Workforce Investment Board and the College of the Sequoias has confirmed the need for skilled labor in the area.
“As the local economy improves and hiring increases, we have found it challenging to identify top talent to fulfill vacant team member positions. The Visalia Industrial Park businesses are impacted by this,” Bruce Nicotero, General Manager of Jo-Ann Distribution Center, said in a statement.

Training is available in areas such as food safety, industrial automation, welding, computer applications, leadership skills and workplace skills.

Businesses interested in being a part of the first round of funding through the COS Training Resource Center should contact the center by Aug. 31. For more information on the reimbursement program, call 559-688-3130 or send an email to trainingcenter@cos.edu.

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