CCC Provides Working Solution for Canby Manufacturer

 Business was going well for Canby manufacturer JV Northwest (JVNW). So well, in fact, the company couldn’t find enough trained welding fabricators to meet the demand. Customized Training and Development Services at Clackamas Community College proposed a solution: provide the training to qualified recruits on site.

CCC and JVNW recruited an initial cohort of 10 to participate in the entry-level welding technician program. CCC welding instructors provided formal training to the recruits at the JVNW site in Canby and certified the in-house trainer as an instructor. Students in the program spent 20 hours a week receiving formal training and 20 hours a week in on-the-job projects.

The recruits completed 21 credit hours, leading to an entry level welding certificate. They studied welder’s print reading, industrial safety, welding certification and welding fabrication. The goal of the training is to prepare the students to pass a welding certification test. Students were supported throughout the process by Tom Brown and Bill Erb, training and employment specialists in the college’s Workforce Services Department.

“This was a win on many levels,” said Robert Bitter, project manager for CCC’s Customized Training Department. “All the participants were unemployed. Now they are working in family wage jobs and meeting the needs of the employer.”

JV Northwest is a 32-year-old Canby business that manufactures stainless steel tanks, pressure vessels and mixers for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The company operates 20 hours a day and employs more than 140 people. Production wages range from $10 to more than $26 an hour.

A graduation ceremony for the first cohort was held in early March at the JV Northwest facility. A second cohort in the program will finish their training on June 3. Bitter said that CCC Customized Training may share the model with other businesses.

Funding for the training came from three sources: Workforce Development Services and the Credential Acceleration and Support for Employment (CASE) grant at CCC, and from JV Northwest. The parties entered into a formal memorandum of understanding before the training began.

For more information, please call Robert Bitter at 503-594-3190 or email robertb@clackamas.edu

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