BIZTIPS - December 7, 2003

Biz Tips: Employers eligible for state-funded work force training grants
Sunday, December 07, 2003
By Art Hill

Welcome to BizTips from your Blue Mountain Community College BizCenter. If you own or manage a business, work in a business, or you’re just interested in business, check this column for ideas you can use.

the Governor’s Employer Workforce Training Fund. Not only is there more money available for employee training ($6 million statewide), it’s also easy to apply for a grant under the new program.

Your local Workforce Response Team will review proposals and award grants. The turn-around time from proposal to a “yes/no” decision is 30 days — maximum!

Here’s our BizTip on the new program: Projects that score high on creating or keeping high-wage jobs, projects that lead to skill certification, and projects that make your business more competitive stand a better chance of getting funded.

You have to match the amount of the grant, but not necessarily in cash. Your match can be wages paid during training, use of the facility where the training takes place, supervisor time for some of the training, etc.

One more thing.

Projects that include several businesses in related industries, or projects with trade association endorsement also have a better chance of getting funded. If you’d like help putting your grant proposal together, call Debbie Fine in Pendleton at 276-9050, ext. 230.

Our next BizTip is about “Lean Manufacturing.”

Many people think this is some kind of consulting hype; this year’s management hula hoop or pet rock. Others think it’s only for big manufacturers.

Actually, it’s been around since the early 1950s, and it’s a program for eliminating waste in any size or type of business.

Waste can be the inventory you store until the next order comes in, or the time it takes to get tools ready to do a job, or even the time a patient waits while their insurance information is processed.

In other words, it’s anything in business that doesn’t add value to your product or service.

One company in eastern Oregon increased pay for its welders by $4 per hour by reducing wasted steps and materials.

To find out more about how “Lean” is helping area businesses be more competitive, use the number or e-mail address at the end of this column.

That’s it for now. Look for us again soon right here, and send us your own BizTips.

Content © 2003 East Oregonian