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Oregon Workforce Partnership

Motorcycle Superstore, USA

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Workforce Challenge

Motorcycle Superstore, an e-commerce company in Medford, OR, has training needs from call center to purchasing to Information Technology. Competition for skilled workers in the area is fierce. “Trying to skill the existing staff to meet our needs is very important to continuing as a business in this area,” states Suz Montemayor, the company’s Human Resources Director. Unfortunately, training is hard to source locally. So, Motorcycle Superstore asked the Local Workforce Investment Board for help.

Workforce Solution

"Internet-based companies are critical to our local economy," Jim Fong of The Job Council explained. "They have shown the ability to keep growing despite extremely adverse economic conditions." In partnership with The Job Council, the Workforce Board provided Employer Workforce Training Fund matching resources to bring training courses like Microsoft's .NET, to Medford.

"Usually, we send one or two employees to San Diego, San Francisco or Portland and hope they could [train others at the organization] until we could send some more. We needed a faster and more cost effective way to get our employees trained," stated Jason Miller, Motorcycle Superstore’s Chief Technology Officer. The Board also provided the company with a number of short term training courses.

Outcomes & Benefits

The company is benefiting in multiple ways from its newly trained workforce. In addition to higher skillsets that increase productivity, “[employee] retention has gone crazy,” states Montemayor. “We see the [employees] moving up. We don’t want this to be a job for them. We want it be to a career.”

Miller notes that the training brought into the region by the Workforce Board is critical to keeping high-tech companies in Oregon. He states, “If we can’t source and train the employees here locally, we have to go to where we can source them. You end up moving to San Francisco, San Jose - somewhere down the coast - where you have a larger tech base.”

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