Since his arrival at the college in 2011, John Milburn, director of the COC Employee Training Institute (ETI), has witnessed a shift in the landscape of the Santa Clarita Valley’s economically vital aerospace manufacturing industries.
“Everyone in the industry is still feeling the effects of the recent economic downturn,” Milburn said. “As a result, the manufacturing industry’s prime contractors are adapting the ways they think, and insisting that their suppliers — many of which are located here in Santa Clarita or the surrounding region — be able to do more with less.
“Fortunately, at the Employee Training Institute we have the perfect solution for that type of demand, ” added Milburn. “These companies need to go LEAN.”
Already well known throughout the industry, LEAN is a manufacturing philosophy, which attempts to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.
“LEAN starts with a philosophy and continues with an implementation of new work practices,” Milburn said, “but ultimately, it’s a tool that can help companies eliminate waste and increase productivity, thereby reducing cost and increasing quality. The increase in quality is the key, because when you’re reducing waste, and eliminating redundancies you’re also eliminating a number of quality issues.”
Housed under the college’s Economic Development Division, the COC Employee Training Institute (ETI) is the number one destination for businesses and companies looking to develop skills within their current workforce, implement improvement methods and processes and, most importantly, drive down costs.
The ETI offers a full range of easily accessible professional and organizational development services and employee skills improvement and training courses, taught by experienced consultants and trainers with strong industry knowledge.
All of the ETI’s services can be scheduled around a client’s specific needs, with courses and workshops able to be delivered before, during, or after business hours, on-site or off-site, and during weekdays or weekends throughout the year. Programs also range in length, and can be conducted in short or long-term formats, including single-day workshops or multi-week course options.
And, as part of the mission of California community colleges to support regional economic development, the COC Employee Training Institute offers its training and consulting services at a very competitive rate — with state Employee Training Panel (ETP) and grant funds often used to help defer the costs for clients.
“Our mission is to help the client be more successful,” Milburn said.
Currently, the ETI is delivering LEAN manufacturing training programs to a number of local companies, including west coast book manufacturing giant Bang Printing, which recently relocated much of its Southern California operation from the City of Commerce to its Valencia facility (previously Delta Printing Solutions).
Beginning with a thorough assessment of the manufacturing floor, and all associated time and motion processes, the ETI’s LEAN training modules also include a combination of classroom style workshops and hands-on training sessions, in which employees are asked to look for new ways to help the company go LEAN.
“LEAN concepts are starting to become the industry norm. There are even companies that implemented LEAN philosophies a few years back that are now coming back to ETI to receive additional forms of training,” said Milburn, pointing to the fact that it may take a full three to five years after implementation for a company to be able to fully realize the benefits. “And that’s because the industry’s prime contractors are demanding a higher quality product, for less money.
With LEAN manufacturing philosophies growing in popularity, the ETI has also started to develop a LEAN training module that can be applied to biomedical device manufacturing. Plans are also in the works to develop a ‘LEAN Office’ training program, for companies looking to improve those processes.
“This is definitely the wave of the present and the future,” said Milburn. “Right now, there’s no reason for businesses not to go LEAN.”
For more information about the College of the Canyons Employee Training Institute (ETI) or the LEAN manufacturing training program please contact John Milburn at 661-362-3245 or visit www.canyonsecondev.org.
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