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case study1


Employment Training Panel (ETP) Funds


Filtration Group, Inc.

Company Profile
Filtration Group, Inc. (FGI) is a leading broad-line manufacturer and supplier of filtration products for the HVAC, Industrial and Process, Liquid, Safety and Technical Media markets. Filtration Group’s commitment to ISO compliments their pledge for continuous improvement to both product development and internal processes.

The FGI West Coast manufacturing facility located in Santa Rosa was planning to increase its product line, add new equipment and improve its systems. In order to accomplish this, Dean Kerstetter, West Coast Director of Manufacturing, needed to train a core group of employees who were flexible, ready and able to come up to speed on the new processes.

The employees identified from key positions within the company were primarily Spanish speaking. The training he envisioned needed to be presented in Spanish to maximize effectiveness. Strengthening English-speaking skills was also a high training priority.

Because FGI runs the Santa Rosa plant on a four-day schedule, time out for training had to be kept to a minimum in order to meet shipping schedules.

The final challenge was cost. The training budget for FGI was already allocated for scheduled training and there were no current funds available.

SRJC’s Workforce Training Coordinator, specializing in Employment Training Panel funds, began working with Kerstetter and Human Resources Administrator Estela Prado. They designed a 40-hour training plan, which included Problem Solving, Production Math, Teambuilding and an Overview of ISO. Vocational English as a Second Language was also included.

The schedule established each Tuesday as training day. Classes were two hours long to accommodate the learning needs of the employees and to minimize the impact on the production schedule.

Because it was critical that these courses be delivered in Spanish the Workforce Training Coordinator selected skilled instructors who could address the topics in Spanish. Cost for much of the training was covered by the Employment Training Panel funds.

From the first class at FGI, the trainees began applying their new knowledge. “People are handling problems without having to come to me for coaching,” Prado reported, “that saves everyone valuable time.”

Kerstetter noted two positive effects of the training: “My regular performance meetings with some of the trainees have taken on a different tenor. I am noticing a greater level of their understanding of where we are and where we need to go. Also, they are putting out more effort to speak English.”

Concerning his view on participation in ETP, Kerstetter said: “This is my third participation in an ETP training program, Workforce Training at SRJC has convinced me that it can work well. The first time, a consulting agency loaded us with excessive training hours that did not work for our company. Then we attempted to do our own contract with ETP and found the paperwork, planning and managing to be too much on top of our regular work. This time, SRJC’s coordination was efficient and effective. The courses were customized and scheduled to our production time frame. The instructors were well matched to our needs. The trainees got a lot out of the training and they were very enthusiastic about attending.”

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges