Stanislaus County will soon welcome at least one large warehouse facility — Amazon.com is expected to open its 1-million-square-foot Patterson fulfillment center this fall — but many local residents lack the education and training to apply for logistics jobs.
That is, until Alliance Worknet came to the rescue.
Modesto Junior College and Alliance Worknet have partnered to develop a series of free training courses that will prepare job seekers for careers in logistics and distribution.
The Logistics & Warehousing Boot-Camp Training Program was created in an effort to prepare workers for the anticipated increase of warehouse and distribution work in Stanislaus County. According to recent studies from the state Employment Development Department Labor Market Division, over 300 jobs are projected in the county between 2008 and 2018 in the warehouse/transportation industry.
“These students are getting hands-on experience for the job force,” said workforce development project director for the college, Marla Uliana. “We want to bridge the gap between training and what happens on the job.”
Organizers are currently teaching 120 students the skills that local warehouse operations desire, including lift equipment training, inventory control systems, and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Logistics Associate Lab.
“We received over 600 applicants throughout the county to be enrolled in our classes,” said Uliana. “Out of those 600, 325 met the minimum qualifications and we had to narrow the classes to 120. About 87 percent of our students successfully passed our CLA exam. This is the most comprehensive and effective way to get them prepared.”
Former student Patrick Kearney took advantage of the free training and said he feels prepared for the job force.
“After going through the training, I feel confident and prepared,” said Kearney. “The biggest benefit out of this program is that it exposes the skills that you already had and you gain additional ones along the way. I feel they should offer this program in high school and prepare younger students who want to go to the workforce right after they graduate."
The funding for this program comes from the local Workforce Investment Act funds as authorized by the Stanislaus Board of Directors.