One of the other helpful member agencies of La Cooperative is the Employers’ Training Resource (ETR).ETR is a department within the County of Kern that houses the Workforce Investment Boards for Kern, Inyo, and Mono County.
ETR simultaneously provides services to both local businesses and the local workforce through programs in economic development, job recruitment and placement, and vocational training. ETR implements its services through several one-stop centers and also connects employment seekers to other services such as education classes. The goals of ETR include:
- Economic Development: promoting and supporting the economic development of the communities.
- Assisting employers: providing no-cost recruiting and screening, assistance with downsizing and other services
- Assisting job seekers: providing no cost training, job placement services and other job-hunting resources
- Assisting farm workers: providing no cost training as well as other resources.
ETR’s focus on training the workforce for the needs of the local economy and providing assistance to businesses in the hiring process is clear. Each year, ETR has assisted over 3,500 workers through specialized programs and grants. In 2013,there were 142 workers who received On-the-Job Training leading to a new, well-paying job.
The ETR is given funding support through the National Farmworkers Job Program (NFJP), a nationally-directed program providing employment, training services and housing assistance to migrant and seasonal farmworkers. As part of their support to farmworkers, the ETR offers English as a Second Language classes, GED classes and Job Search workshops for seasonal farmworkers.
In a recent annual report, ETR highlighted one of their many successful alumni. Alumni Joaquin Heraldez was nominated and received the National Farmworker Jobs Program Excellence Award for Outstanding Seasonal Farmworker that has been successful in moving out of farm labor into a new career. Joaquin had little education and limited English skills when he moved to the United States so he worked in farm labor for over twenty years, but through the NFJP Program he received training in maintenance and welding and received numerous certifications that helped him obtain employment outside of farm labor. He is currently employed with a local oil field construction company, KSI as a Well Preparer and is making a much higher wage than he ever did as a farm worker.
The ETR locations also work closely with One-Stop Career centers to provide counseling, vocational training for in-demand jobs, work experience, assistance with job searches, access to services needed for job searches, referrals to job openings, and supportive services, including referrals to receive emergency medical, shelter and food services.
Additionally, Employers’ Training Resource has strong working relationships with many employers in Kern County, which helps to place job-seekers in long term, year-round employment.
To locate the closest Employers’ Training Resource center to you, call toll free 1 (800) 203-2623, or visit www.etronline.com. There, you will find a list of the centers with local addresses and phone numbers.