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Workforce Investment Board

WIB social media workshop brings $7 million boost

WIB logo goldPacific Mountain Logistics attributes $7 million in sales to a workshop on social media organized by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

The CEO of the Ontario-based company, BJ Patterson, says his marketing strategy changed after attending the free seminar.

“Before attending the workshop, the only social networking tool I used was LinkedIn. I didn’t have a clue about how to use social media for promoting business,” Patterson said.

“Now, I can honestly say that at least $7 million of our sales have directly come from social media in the last three years. All it takes is an investment of my time,” he added.

BJ Patterson launched Pacific Mountain Logistics in 2009 and said building a brand from scratch seemed like a daunting task.

“We have taken our brand from nothing to being in the top three third party logistics companies in the Inland Empire,” he said. “This achievement comes as a result of our visibility in the market. Our company profile visibility has increased due to the publicity from social media. I’ve had so many new orders from people saying they’d reached out after reading one of our online posts.”

Pacific Mountain Logistics’ annual sales now reach $10 million and they employ 120 people.

The Social Media Marketing Workshop for Business that Patterson attended is just one of many monthly seminars organized by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The free workshops aim to help local companies grow, or address employment issues such as changes in the law or policies for staff development.

“We receive tremendous feedback from business owners on the support provided by the free seminars, which help meet our Countywide Vision of fostering entrepreneurship and encouraging business development,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

At the WIB social media workshop Patterson was shown how to set up his profile, and learned how all his social media accounts could be tied together, providing a wider reach. Most importantly, he says, he learned how to use Google alerts to create valuable and interesting industry content in his blogs.

Other recent workshops held by the Workforce Investment Board include the 2015 Labor Law Update, Top Ten Ways to Stay out of Court, Employee Handbooks, How to Conduct a Workplace Investigation, Don’t Fire Them, Inspire Them, and Managing Stress and Burnout in the Workplace.

“The workshops provide an ideal opportunity for local business owners to learn strategies for success and stay up-to-date on new laws coming into effect,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

To learn more about free workshops or other business services please call (800) 451- JOBS; for a list of events, visit

Job fair will serve employers and job seekers

WIB logo goldThe San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board will host the High Desert Regional Job Fair on Aug. 20 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville.  This event will offer businesses the chance to meet, interview and hire highly qualified and experienced staff to fill full and part-time positions.

Job seekers are encouraged to attend armed with resumes and ready to meet prospective employers. There is still time for employers to register to participate.

“It is our priority to connect employers and job seekers in San Bernardino County to create more opportunity for our residents and businesses to thrive,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Our vision for this county includes facilitating access to prosperity for all who choose to reside here and enjoy the county’s unique advantages.”

Last year’s job fair attracted 1,325 job seekers, ages 18 to over 65. More than 700 job openings were offered by companies specializing in a range of industries including warehousing, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, education, construction and hospitality.

“Our job fairs are effective in helping local business find great local candidates,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.  “It is a great opportunity for employers to enjoy a one-stop shop for their recruitment needs.”

The job fair, “Local Jobs for Local Residents,” will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 20 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds at 14800 7th Street, Victorville.

To secure a free booth, please register at  Employers must book their place by Aug. 18.

Priority entrance at 8 a.m. is available for job seekers through early registration. Please visit the America’s Job Center of California, located in Victorville at 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109, Victorville, or call 1-800-451-5627.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Investment Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit Also follow us on: Facebook;Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; and YouTube


WIB encourages companies to attend manufacturing summit

MCIE-logo1A survey among manufacturing companies in San Bernardino County shows almost a quarter of businesses have seen an increase in sales in the last three months.

The good news comes as the region prepares for the annual Inland Empire Manufacturers’ Summit which is co-sponsored by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

The event is being held at the Riverside Convention Center on February 19 and is expected to attract more than 500 participants.

“Manufacturing is one of the important industries in our region and we are proud to be supporting this important summit to ensure on-going job creation in this field,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board.

The annual summit is organized by the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE), which helps local manufacturers find solutions to problems like employment training, research, regulation compliance, and import and export issues.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has had a long standing relationship with the Manufacturers’ Council and works in partnership to enhance the knowledge and skills of employees in the industry.

“With almost 87,000 people employed in this sector, earning an average of $50,000, this industry plays a key role in the success of our local economy,” said James Ramos, Chairman of San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

While expansion in the industry is welcome news, analysts also foresee a skills gap in the coming years due to an increase in workers eligible for retirement. Nationally, around two million jobs will be left vacant as many engineers and machinists come to the end of their career.

One local company already seeing the effects of this change is Vista Metals Corp. of Fontana where hiring managers turned to the WIB for help with recruitment.

The company employs 240 staff members at its plant in Fontana, but HR Manager, Sheryl Baez says a large percentage have been with the company for up to 30 years and are beginning to retire.

“We are constantly recruiting to replace these workers with the next generation of skilled manufacturing staff,” Baez said.

The company recently hired three production staff through the WIB’s On-The-Job Training program which helps businesses offset the cost of training new employees.

“Finding workers with the right skills is always a challenge for us,” Baez continued. “The Workforce Investment Board program has been very beneficial to us, but not just from a monetary point of view. The WIB staff work hard to match us with the right employees and support the trainees to ensure they are successful. We will continue to work closely with the WIB and local schools to help us find the employees we need.”

Workforce development is one of the key issues under discussion at the upcoming Annual Manufacturing Summit, as well as the impact of new technology and resources for growth.

Manufacturing companies wishing to attend the Summit on February 19 can register online at

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit

*The WIB’s quarterly Business Services Report showed manufacturers in the county recorded a 23 percent increase in sales during the last quarter, while four percent had plans to expand.

**The most recent Economic Report on the Inland Empire by Chmura Economics and Analytics showed 86,544 people in the region are employed in manufacturing, earning an average of $49,083.

Workforce Investment Board trains drivers for hauling company

Final Government Works StampAn increase in business for freight trucking company Valley Bulk, Inc. has meant the need to recruit more drivers.

The 2008 recession hit the company hard – reducing the number of trucks in operation from 65 to just 40. However, with business booming again the firm has now returned to running a full capacity fleet.

In the last six months, Valley Bulk, Inc. has hired five new drivers through the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board’s On-the-Job Training program.

The program reimburses employers who hire workers with a skills gap, those who may not have the level of experience the company initially asks for – paying up to 50 percent of the new employee’s salary while they learn the new position.

“I wouldn’t normally take on drivers without experience but I found this program to be a win-win situation for both the employee and our company,” said Lloyd McCoy of Valley Bulk, Inc.

McCoy learned about the On-the-Job Training program from a newly qualified driver who came into their Victorville offices to apply for a job.

“I explained that employing a driver without experience would mean another driver having to spend several weeks with him to train him, which would be at a cost to the company.  However, when he told me he was eligible for the WIB program, and how it works, I was happy to give him a job.”

McCoy has since employed four more drivers through On-the-Job Training and believes the program is extremely beneficial to small companies like Valley Bulk, Inc.

“I feel it’s important to help newly qualified workers because it’s often difficult to get a job with no experience. Without the Workforce Investment Board I would not be able to offer this opportunity. I will continue to use the service as long as it’s available.”

Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board said, “Small companies like Valley Bulk, Inc. benefit immensely from the On-the-Job Training program which is why they use the service over and over again.”

Valley Bulk, Inc. now employs a total of 100 staff and delivers across California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

“The On-the-Job Training program provides opportunities for businesses to grow and for residents to learn new skills and earn a paycheck at the same time,” said James Ramos, Chair of San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. “It’s yet another example of how the WIB is working to support businesses and job seekers.”

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit

Solar panel company gets help from Workforce Investment Board

Solar PanelThe growth in demand for green energy has been good news for Yucaipa-based Smart Solar Power.

The electric solar power installer has seen a 40 percent increase in sales since 2013 resulting in the need to hire more staff.

Owner Don Young was alerted about the no-cost recruitment and training services offered by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and made inquiries.

“I was surprised to hear that my company would be reimbursed for the cost of training new employees during their first three months of employment.  That is a huge benefit for a small company like ours, both from an operational and financial point of view.”

Within the last year, Don has hired two solar panel installers and two office processors through the WIB’s On-the-Job Training program.

The federally funded On-the-Job Training program provides partial wage reimbursement for the designated training period, usually the first 90 days of employment. The goal is to help alleviate the financial burden that often accompanies hiring new employees, thereby supporting company growth.

Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director for the Workforce Investment Board commented, “It is wonderful to see small companies like Smart Solar Power enjoying a sales increase in a difficult competitive market and we are glad to be helping Mr. Young expand his business.”

Smart Solar Power employs a total of 12 staff and installs solar panels on both residential and commercial properties across the Inland Empire. Don Young credits the company’s success to its friendly, family-approach and passion for good customer service, instead of the hard sales strategy that many solar electric firms take. “The business is doing well and I feel we have been blessed,” said Young.

For information about the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board’s no-cost programs for businesses and residents, contact (800) 451-JOBS or visit

Workforce Investment Board: Jobs available for healthcare grads

Nurse Behind Intravenous TubeThe County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board announced today that it still has paid internship vacancies available for recently qualified healthcare students.
This will allow medical graduates with no previous experience to gain the training and skills they need to be offered a permanent position and establish a career. The internships are On-the-Job Training positions designed to become full-time, regular positions after 90 days.
The Workforce Investment Board was awarded the Dislocated Worker Training National Emergency Grant from the California Workforce Investment Board in the amount of $266,150 to help place 40 individuals in professional level positions in a growing industry.
The grant is designed to assist dislocated workers who have lost a job due to a layoff or company closure. The goal is to provide paid work experience for those who have earned certification in the medical field but are finding it difficult to get back to work.
The key medical professions of focus include, but are not limited to, Registered Nurses, Sonographers, Licensed Vocational Nurses and X-Ray Technicians. Traditionally, these jobs would be offered to candidates with more work experience.
“This is an excellent opportunity for newly licensed candidates to get their foot in the door at a local medical facility,” Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Sandy Harmsen commented. “This grant funding provides a connection to employers that these candidates need.”
Tina Soto, 42, from Victorville, is a great example of the program benefits. She was unemployed for three months before the Workforce Investment Board placed her in an On-the-Job Training position with Bright Now! Dental Center in Barstow this summer.
Dr. Hector Magpayo was impressed with her skills and work ethic and offered Tina a permanent job after 90 days.
“I’m so happy to be working again,” said Tina. “Even though I am a qualified Registered Dental Assistant, it was difficult for me to find a job. I am so grateful for the assistance I received.”
Dr. Magpayo said the program works well, “Sometimes small offices like ours cannot take the risk of spending the time and money on training a new employee. Tina is an excellent fit for our practice and that was an important factor – the applicant was matched well with our business.”
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford added, “This healthcare grant is another example of how the Workforce Investment Board is placing residents in excellent jobs, while meeting the needs of demand industries.”
Licensed medical professionals hoping to take part in this opportunity should contact the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board at 1(800) 451-JOBs or visit

Businesses boost participation in On-the-Job training program

Final Government Works StampThe number of businesses participating in the On-the-Job Training program offered by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board  is on track to surpass last year’s numbers.  The On-the-Job Training program assists workers with finding employment, and reimbursing employers that hire workers who lack experience or training. The program pays up to 50 percent of a new employee’s salary, saving the company money normally spent on training.

“A small business is not an institution designed to train employees,” said Greg Hudson, president of Lifetime Solutions, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor located in Victorville. “If I send a new employee out with a skilled technician, the technician will to have to slow down to train the new employee, so productivity may be lost. It’s more cost-effective to recruit employees with experience.” “At the same time, finding qualified, experienced employees is challenging,” added Hudson.

The On-the-Job Training program allowed Lifetime Solutions to hire three inexperienced employees in the past year. The program eased the burden of new employee training. Hudson said the Workforce Investment Board allowed him to take a chance on people not as highly skilled who could become great employees.

The program has grown exponentially as more local businesses discover how useful it is. During the most recent program year ending in July, 259 people were placed into On-the-Job Training; which is an increase from 219 the prior year.

“This is the type of practical program our businesses are clamoring for,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. “The number of participants is up to 90 in the first three months of this fiscal year. So, clearly this is a service that is needed by our businesses.’’

The demand for the program comes from San Bernardino County’s growing industries, which covers a range of transportation, logistics, distribution, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and energy and utilities. The wide variety of positions in these areas offers options for job seekers as they search for work in demand fields.

“On-the-Job Training represents an opportunity to use our resources to solve specific challenges our businesses face, while providing well-paying positions for our residents” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair, Janice Rutherford said.

This is an example of how Government Works.

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit

Human resources employer forum for businesses on Nov. 12

Executive BusinessmanThe San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board will host “Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace,” an employer workshop designed to provide solutions to businesses with human resources issues.

Many employers find themselves confused by what is considered a reasonable accommodation and what is a reasonable request by an employee or group of employees. In this interactive presentation the Workforce Investment Board will discuss:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) & Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
  • Religious Accommodations
  • Dress Code Accommodation
  • Reasonable Accommodations for different leave laws
  • What to do when an employee requests a reasonable accommodation

The  workshops are from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 12 at the East Valley America’s Job Center of California, 658 E. Brier Drive, Suite 100 in San Bernardino. Check-in is at 9:45 a.m. All employer forums and parking are free of charge; seating is limited. For more information, please contact: Maryann Acuna at 909-383-9932 or email at

To register visit

The Workforce Investment Board has partnered with the California Employers Association to provide employers in San Bernardino County with access to a free human resources hotline for questions at 1-800-399-5331.

For more information call: 1-800.451.JOBS (5627) or visit or fax your completed job order to 909-387-9880.


Workforce Investment Board: More than 400 jobs coming to Barstow

your careerA huge recruitment drive is underway to employ more than 400 staff to work in Barstow.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board  is helping to fill the vacancies for URS Corporation, an AECOM company, a federal contractor that recently won a multi-million dollar contract at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow. The contract is to provide maintenance support, including removal, replacement, repair, rebuild, fabrication of components and vehicle armor kits as well as support roles to move, transport, receive, issue, store and stock materials needed by the various shops during the vehicle maintenance cycle.

While many of the jobs are for heavy equipment mechanics, other available positions include welders, auto body repair personnel, electronics technicians, automotive painters and material coordinators. A job fair for potential candidates is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victorville on Thursday Nov. 6.

“We are delighted with the support we are receiving from the Workforce Investment Board to help us find the qualified staff we need,” said Toby Bristow of URS Corporation, an AECOM company.

The company reached out to the Workforce Investment Board in June when they needed to employ an initial 285 staff members.

Since then, the WIB has held one-day recruitment events, supported URS at three WIB-sponsored job fairs and reached out to scores of potential candidates online, including postings on the WIB’s own recruitment site; these efforts resulted in more than 500 interested applicants. Expert WIB recruiters screened potential candidates before referring them to URS.

To date, URS Corporation has hired more than 200 new employees and the company is working closely with the WIB to fill the remaining vacancies.

“The WIB’s recruitment expertise and support has been tremendous and they’ve provided us with so many strong candidates. Their job fair in Victorville was particularly successful as we were able to interview more than 100 candidates and extend job offers from that single day,” said Bristow.

This week, URS Corporation announced the company expects additional workload at Barstow which would require an additional 200 personnel.

“We are offering competitive wages and an outstanding benefit package. We are pleased to be creating jobs and helping the local economy,” added Bristow.

Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair commented, “The partnership with URS is another example of how the Workforce Investment Board is connecting residents with well-paying jobs and helping businesses grow in our county.”

URS Corporation is a leading provider of engineering, construction and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies around the world. It has offices in 50 countries and employs more than 50,000 staff, producing revenue of $11 billion.

Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board said, “It is wonderful to see the local economy being improved by large contracts coming to our area.”

A recruitment fair for potential applicants is being held on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, Mariposa Road, Victorville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Workforce Investment Board offers job assistance to graduates of new avionics training

The County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board is recruiting for a 40-day training course in Avionics and Industrial Technology at Chaffey College.

The no-cost training is open to 20 low-income, long-term unemployed, disabled or re-entry individuals (which include parolees, probationers and individuals with a felony on record). The WIB and Chaffey College are looking for recruits who enjoy working with their hands, are mechanically inclined and have a strong attention to detail. Graduates will earn a nationally recognized certification in Industrial Maintenance Electrical & Instrumentation from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).

turbulence aheadAs a partner of Chaffey College in the initiative, the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board will provide recruitment and employment assistance to help graduates land jobs at local businesses with a demand for avionics and industrial maintenance expertise.

The program is a not-for-credit, short-term pilot program funded through a $150,000 Workforce Accelerator Fund grant awarded to Chaffey College by the California Workforce Investment Board. Classes begin October 20 and take place at Chaffey College’s Chino campus. To attend an orientation, prospective trainees should call (909) 652-7664.

“This program was designed in response to the need of employers in San Bernardino County,’’ said Workforce Investment Board Executive Director, Sandy Harmsen. “Fortunately, we are positioned to assist the program graduates in securing employment with one of the businesses we work with.”

There is an expected industry demand spike for people with expertise in aviation and industrial electrical technology and instrumentation.  In 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a requirement that all aircraft flying in controlled airspace must be equipped with new avionics by 2020. The new systems, known as ADS-B, use GPS technology and will replace radar. Industry estimates expect 20,000 ADS-B installations per year between now and 2020.

“In one year, the Workforce Investment Board has served nearly 3,000 businesses and identified more than 12,000 job openings. This partnership with Chaffey College is another example of how the Workforce Investment Board is helping residents enter well-paying career fields while also meeting the needs of growing industries in our County,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford said.

For more information on the Industrial Maintenance Electrical & Instrumentation & Avionics training, please call the Chaffey College Workforce Training Institute at (909) 652-7664.For more information on the County of San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board, contact 1(800) 451-JOBs or visit

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