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Oregon Workforce Partnership

Blazer Industries

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Workforce Challenge

Blazer Industries, located in Aumsville, OR, produces modular structures. The need to implement newer, greener technologies created a need for employee training in these specialized areas.

“Building systems are changing,” states Kendra Cox, Project Manager at Blazer. “The code is leaning more and more toward green, and we are keeping up. But there is a true need for more training whether it’s electric devices and systems or passive house type building. Even the way we frame buildings is changing."

Workforce Solution

Blazer had not traditionally set aside significant resources for training. With the economy down, the company was not sure it could afford the full cost of training. When Blazer learned about the availability of matching resources through the Employer Workforce Training Fund from Job Growers Incorporated, the Local Workforce Investment Board, it was swayed to invest in training to improve productivity and competitiveness. Cox states, “The program is flexible, which is really important to us. We were able to decide on what areas we wanted to focus.”

Outcomes & Benefits

Training has resulted in better communication, improved morale and the identification of additional training needs. The training "prompted group discussion, and that’s always a good start to improving productivity,” states Cox. A large number of Blazer employees have never participated in post secondary education, and were skeptical about training. However, according to Cox, they are glad they participated in the training, are using what they learned and taking it a step further.

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