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case study3

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SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING TO OFFSET TRAINING COSTS

Employment Training Panel (ETP) Funds

CASE STUDY 3

Vineburg Machining, Inc.

Company Profile
Vineburg Machining, Inc. (VMI) is a Sonoma-based company that creates machined parts for construction tools, medical implements and automotive parts. Their client base is local, nation-wide and international.

Challenge
VMI’s president, Gerd Poppinga was interested in a variety of company-wide training. The VMI management team, composed of managers, supervisors and team leaders, had just been formed and needed management training. Increasing customer demands with more complex specifications and a general upgrading of processes was pushing the need for training on the line. Poppinga also wanted training in ISO 9000 compliance, statistical training and machine shop blueprint reading.

The company was concerned with maintaining production rates while employees were off line in training. Although, training was
a priority for this manufacturing company, they were also
concerned about the cost.

Solution
One of VMI’s managers learned about Employment Training Panel (ETP) grants from a consultant whose services were too expensive for the company. When they discovered SRJC’s
Workforce Training Department could provide the training and access to ETP funds, which would cover most of the training costs, they signed up.

The training plan for the forty production employees included Problem-solving and Statistical Process Control. Blueprint Reading was added for the machine shop, and managers took an additional 24 hours of Quality Management training. To launch the program SRJC’s Workforce Training Coordinator, working with Poppinga and his Technical Support Manager, Bill Poleshuk planned three all-day Saturday sessions to introduce ISO to all of VMI employees.

Impact
Poleshuk says that many in VMI’s blue-collar work force did not initially see the value of leaving the production line for training. One of the outcomes of the training was that employees became more proactive and questioning in their jobs. “Now our employees are confident asking for help because they see it as a part of their job. The company operates more like an inverted pyramid. Rather than waiting to be told what to do and when, employees do the work and tell management what they need,” commented Poleshuk.

Besides upgrading the standards and practices at VMI, Poleshuk reported a result that surprised the entire management team. When they reviewed financial records for the training period, production was not adversely affected as had been anticipated. “We expected a negative financial impact, and were very pleased that we could provide training and stay profitable during the same period,” Poleshuk added.

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