In San Bernardino County, site selection and hiring assistance programs are helping promising new businesses launch in spite of a tough economy. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors knows that a business-friendly environment is one of the keys to economic recovery and vitality and carefully invests funding from the Workforce Investment Act to bring more employers to the region.
Metroll, a metal manufacturing company that makes metal roofing, siding and building kits, recently closed escrow in Fontana and plans to be fully operational within four months. What will make it unique is a proprietary software system that allows clients to create customized building plans which are then automatically conformed to the local codes and requirements, saving valuable time and money when obtaining permits and constructing the building.
Anand Patel, a director of Metroll, is grateful for the site selection and hiring assistance he received through the County of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.
“When I began looking for a site, I realized there was no cheat sheet to get through the site selection and diligence process,” Patel said. “One of the challenges we’ve been confronted with is that the building material industry has been hard hit in this economy and we’re working with a very tight budget.”
Business service representatives from the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board immediately stepped in to post Metroll’s job openings on www.csb-win.org and also assisted Patel in obtaining the necessary approvals and permits to get Metroll up and running.
“I’ve grown up hearing that California is the hardest place to do business because of all the hurdles and regulations you have to go through to set up a business,” Patel said. “But here in San Bernardino County, I have people I can call for help. They have not only been very knowledgeable, but also reliable and responsive.”
Patel anticipates that he will have an on-going relationship with the County as Metroll plans to hire ten new employees within the next few months and then train those workers to operate the machinery that will make roofing, siding and other structural profiles.
“Investing in businesses is not only beneficial to employers, but also to residents who need to make a living wage to support themselves and their families,” said Chair Josie Gonzales, County of San Bernardino Fifth District Supervisor. “We work hard to make federal Workforce Investment Act funding work for the benefit of our employers and our County’s residents.”
The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board funds a team of 23 forward-thinking business service representatives. Each representative visits a minimum of 40 new businesses per month and maintains relationships with the businesses they have contacted. These representatives meet with business owners to identify their workforce needs, discover job openings, help with hiring and negotiate subsidized training contracts.
“Last year, our business service unit paid a total 9,051 visits to businesses and posted 19,866 jobs to our county Workforce Investment Network,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board and Director of the County of San Bernardino Workforce Development Department. “They assisted 1,000 businesses with valuable services such as employee recruitment and hiring, job posting as well as contracts for Subsidized Training Employment Program (STEP) and On-the-Job Training (OJT).”
For more information, employers and job seekers can inquire through the County of San Bernardino’s Employment Resource Centers at (800) 451-JOBS.
About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County:
The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. The Board strives to strengthen the skills of the County’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources which generate jobs and investment.
The Workforce Investment Board, through the County of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life, and the BRCs support and provide services to the County’s businesses including employee recruitment