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Employment Training Panel and Cal Poly Take Action to Support
Workforce Training Projects in Areas Most Severely Impacted by Drought
SACRAMENTO – The Employment Training Panel (ETP) today approved its first project utilizing
special funds approved by the Legislature and the Brown Administration to combat the economic and
employment impacts of the current drought.
Historically, California’s water shortages have resulted in heightened unemployment and economic
hardship. Hardest hit are communities that rely heavily on agricultural employment, many of which are
in the San Joaquin Valley. To help mitigate job loss and quickly provide resources for training in
drought-impacted regions of the state, the Employment Training Panel developed a new pilot project,
Rapid Employment Strategy Pilot on Natural Disasters (RESPOND), which was approved at the
Panel’s June 27 meeting.
The first project funded under ETP’s new RESPOND program was approved today for Cal Poly
Corporation (CPC), in the amount of $234,240. Established in 1940, CPC is a non-profit auxiliary
organization that assists California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in its education and
extracurricular mission. Under a multiple employer contract, CPC estimates that training will be
provided to 192 workers in counties most severely impacted by drought. ETP’s business partners
include equipment manufacturers and dealers, agricultural operators, farm management companies,
irrigation system specialists, water management software companies, and water districts.
All training will be delivered through Cal Poly’s Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC), which
offers a variety of basic and advanced courses for agricultural and landscape irrigation professionals
to update their technical skills and gain exposure to new advances in irrigation technology. According
to Professor Stuart Styles, director of the ITRC, “This training support is critical to the agricultural
sector, and we are delighted that ETP is making the funds available. Our first class to use these funds
will start next week.”
ETP is a state agency supported by business and labor. At its publicly held meeting today, ETP
approved 97 contracts for more than $11.4 million in employment training funds. Approved funds will
support workforce training in a variety of sectors throughout the state, and will assist employers in
strengthening their competitive edge in the economy by providing funds to partially off-set the costs of
necessary job skills training. California’s ETP is a performance-based program, providing funds for
trainees who successfully complete training and are retained in good-paying jobs at or above a
required wage base for at least 90 days.
The program, funded by the Employment Training Tax paid by California employers, helps businesses
remain competitive. Since its inception in 1983, the ETP program has provided approximately $1.25
billion to train more than 800,000 workers for more than 78,000 California companies. Employers
match training funds awarded by ETP, making these projects true public-private partnerships. For
more information about the program, please visit www.etp.ca.gov, or call 916-327-5368.