Spreading the Word
Despite a promising start in 2000-01, the program faltered after a few years.
In 2005, the ten entities that created the original training program reconvened, including
the six steel industry companies, two college campuses and the San Bernardino County WDD and WIB.
They checked everything
off their list: the curriculum was still effective; the equipment was still
housed at the colleges and working fine; and the companies still needed highly-skilled workers.
The industry partners and the WIB once again agreed to each contribute 50% of the funding,
but this time, the WIB decided to advertise the program
to other companies. By spreading the word and garnering more industry involvement, it was hoped that
the program would be more sustainable over time.
By the end of 2005, the Council had grown from its original six to include three more companies,
and since then has grown to over 20 companies from the steel industry as well as manufacturing
and logistics companies. Each company sends one representative to
monthly meetings, along with representatives from both community college campuses
and the WIB. The ongoing communication ensures that the group stays connected and engaged, keeping
the program in the forefront of participants' attention.