The Stanislaus County is a hub for manufacturing and distribution facilities and Modesto Junior College is producing job-ready employees through their new course offerings which provide students certification in warehouse operations.
Originally contracted through Alliance Worknet, which provides employment services to the Stanislaus County community, MJC trained 145 sponsored, unemployed workers to become certified through the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council. Now a certified assessment center, MJC has opened up the certification courses to the public by offering them through their Community Education department.
“We wanted to open up the course to our community members and by doing this through our Community Education department, we offer a non-credited, fee based work force development type training,” said Norma Gallardo, program specialist for MJC Workforce Development.
The six-week “boot camp style” training covers warehouse operations, information technology, inventory control systems, powered industrial equipment, order processing, evaluation of transportation modes, measurements and metric conversions as well as safety. Successful students earn the nationally recognized MSSC Certificate for Certified Logistics Associate or Certified Logistics Technician. The certification program was born from collaboration among local manufacturing companies and the college and earned the endorsement of several local logistic advisory committees including Gallo, Seneca Foods and Stanislaus Foods among others.
“This is our answer to the community’s need,” said Gallardo, who noted that local companies have been very receptive to the increased certification of employees.
The introduction of certification courses to the community comes at an appropriate time as the Turlock Mayor’s Economic Taskforce, a committee with the aim of boosting the town’s local economy, noted a lack of skilled workers in the area. With the increase of industrial growth, a need has developed for vocational skills rather than university degrees.
“In this area there is a lack of skills and basic employability,” said Mike Brem, vice-chair of the taskforce at a meeting on Tuesday. “We need employees with knowledge of mechanics… We know that we have a lot of unemployed, unskilled workers, so we need to find ways to reduce the unemployment for those people that we have here.”
MJC’s course will fit a need outside of the immediate Modesto community and due to an increased interest in the certification classes, registration has been extended. Those interested in registering for CLA or CLT registration can do so through today.
MJC is also offering two shorter, more specific courses including a Scan Guns and Inventory Control Systems and Lift Truck and Safety Training for which registration is open until Feb. 26.