Community Based Electrical and Mechanical Craft Technical Training:
A Study in Problem Solving
San Bernardino is the largest county in the contiguous US, with an economy built on a diverse
base of industries ranging from international trade to manufacturing. Some manufacturers
have experienced challenges in attracting and retaining qualified workers. California Steel Industries
Inc. (CSI) was one company which, due in large part to retirement vacancies beginning in the 1990s,
found itself in need of highly-trained craftspeople to fill key roles such as welders, machinists,
millwrights or heavy-duty mechanics, electricians, electronics technicians and other
craftspeople to fill gaps left by a changing workforce. CSI recruited nationwide
for these positions, but found the industry offered stiff competition for the few skilled
people available. In addition, newly hired workers frequently had a difficult time
adjusting to the high living costs and hot climate where CSI is located.
The San Bernardino County WIB worked with CSI to bring together a coalition of companies facing
similar issues. Together, they developed a training program to enable their own workers to gain
the skills needed and advance within their respective companies.