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(music) -[Susan] Employers in our area have been having a hard time finding employees. They want certain skill sets that we’ve been able to partner with Florence Darlington Tech to offer. -[Lauren] The Manufacturing Skills Pre-employment class is a one week course. Students emerge with three credentials that are very valuable for our manufacturing employers. They end up with a forklift certification, OSHA 10 for general industry, and Six Sigma yellow belt. It’s now at the point where we’re running it every month. And so Vocational Rehab and our employers know they can count on us to have a pipeline of people coming through this class. -[Susan] The businesses are benefiting because they’re getting candidates for their positions that are skilled and the exact skills that they need. And the client is the one that wins in the long run. (music) -[Susan] HM Solutions is a manufacturing production, janitorial company. Their first client that they hired as HM Solutions when they came to the Florence area was from Voc Rehab. And he was their lead person which was an account manager. We place people at HM Solutions doing industrial custodial work as well as we have a recycle plant in Florence and they actually have to wear full face respirators, full body gear and actually go in and vacuum up lead dust. Voc Rehab provides the training that we require for our personnel. If I didn’t have the right coaching and teaching I wouldn’t be able to have that job. He started up front, just doing janitorial work. I put him as a lead person. Next thing you know he’s a supervisor. -[Joseph] I had a lot of people come in my corner to help me build myself up to be a supervisor. I’m trying to be the best at what I do to help the next person coming up behind me. Let them know if I can do it, you can. (music) -[Dennis] Ruiz foods is a 53 year old family business started by a father and a son in central California. We are the number one manufacturer for frozen Mexican food under the El Monterey brand. We’re also the number one manufacturer of convenience store roller grill snacks under Tornados. Whenever they first started their initial hiring in October of 2015, Voc Rehab sponsored three clients to go through the training and I went through the training with them. It benefited me because I knew exactly what Ruiz Foods wanted, so I was able to refer appropriate candidates for the training. -[Dennis] Sue Courtney worked with our HR team and they put together a great training and selection program, going out and finding the best folks to start with, and from there they built a training program that includes lean manufacturing, includes good manufacturing practices, WorkKeys to help with the selection process. -[Dennis] The folks that we’ve gotten through VR, they’re here everyday and they’ve got a great work ethic, and they’ve got a fantastic attitude. We have very low turnover. And then on top of that, we’ve got a number of folks that have come through Voc Rehab that have been promoted not once, but more than once. Two and three times. And when you look at a selection process and a training process from a business standpoint, that’s exactly what you want. I supervise 266 people. That’s two lines, two bakeries, a hot kitchen, and a cold kitchen. I make sure all the operations is running correctly. And I make sure we make a good, safe product and make sure that people are safe and happy while they’re doing it. -[Dennis] Very few individuals have the sense of purpose and the sense of drive that Freddie has. You talk to Freddie and you talk about what you want to do, what we need to do. Freddie understands it very quickly and executes against that need rapidly. And we’ve seen that from the very beginning. Freddie really promoted very quickly through the ranks. And he always stood out. In every job that he held, he stood out. And it’s exciting to watch him grow and develop within our organization. I started from the bottom here. I started since day one–they treat me like family. They got great benefits. I love every moment. I come in here, I feel like I never left home. The demand driven training was the perfect option for him. It gave him the training that he needed to give him the skills that could get him in the door. And I felt like that opportunity–go for it. Now I’m an operational supervisor. And this happened over a year. Six months ago, I took a group of clients that had finished the demand driven training for an interview out there. And I thought he had come down to see me, and I was startled to realize he was the one doing the interviewing for his lines. And so I was thrilled. -[Dennis] The biggest benefit of the relationship between Ruiz and VR is our ability to have a great supply of talent. VR provides folks that are ready to go. And we look at other sources on how we do our selection of folks and we end up with higher turnover. We will have a higher investment in folks because we have that turnover. And when we go to VR, from just a purely business standpoint, we have lower turnover, we have lower invested cost in getting folks up to speed, and then on top of that, the folks that we get– the team members we get from VR–perform better. When you look at it in a manufacturing and a business standpoint that’s about as good as it gets. -[Courtney] I really like working at Ruiz. They’re family oriented. Everybody is really close and everybody works as a team. Which, I played sports in high school, so I’m all about working as a team. After graduating college, I graduated with a 3.8 GPA overall, and… I had barriers in finding a job. Voc Rehab helped me by getting me the WorkKeys testing, which I scored platinum on all three categories. And then, they placed me into the training for Ruiz foods. What’s fun to watch with Courtney and her development is she came in as a tortilla thrower and right away she saw an opportunity to use her background and to get into the bakery and quickly she was able to master the equipment to the point that she was promoted to lead. She then saw an opportunity to really get into her background and go into quality as a technician. -[Susan] Within eight months, she had increased her salary by 68%. -[Courtney] I’ve definitely found a career within Ruiz foods. I don’t see myself leaving. -[Dennis] We strive to make this a great place to work. And that takes an effort every day. It takes a commitment, not just from a leadership standpoint, but it takes commitment from all of our team members. We hold our values very dear to us, those values of teamwork, of respect, of integrity, of quality, of safety. When we look at the folks that have come in through VR, that’s been there. And I think that goes to the selection process that VR has used to identify individuals that will be a fit for us. And it starts with the assessment to know what folks are really fit for manufacturing. Because you can’t get that assessment through the schools and universities. They’re not going out and identifying which individuals are best for manufacturing. And VR provides that. Then beyond that, it’s the WorkKeys. So not only are they a fit for manufacturing, but are they a fit for the type of work that we’re doing in manufacturing at Ruiz. And we’ve worked with Sue and VR to develop additional training that’s specific for Ruiz foods. That’s the secret sauce, is somebody has to take that time to understand the organization and the needs because the individuals that come here, they’re ready for Ruiz. They’re ready to go to work and they’re ready to perform. And it shows in the number of individuals that have been promoted. It’s just a great fit for us. (lively music) New Entry

Reynold King

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