How Central Valley businesses can receive state funds for employee training

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Brownie Baker in northwest Fresno, sweet treats from brownies to pastries are baked up and shipped around the country.

The company is just one of many that's taken advantage of the state's employment panel training or ETP funds.

"These funds allow us to spend a little extra time off the actual schedule to get employees trained up to perform other tasks around the bakery and or learn new equipment," said Mike Collins, the Brownie Baker vice president of operations

Every for profit company is taxed and that money is set aside for training, but companies have to apply for the ETP funds.

"Whether employees know it or not, they're participating in the employment training panel. They're putting in money every month into it," said Larry Westerlund, Fresno Economic Development Director .

Statewide about $103 million is spent on training and the Valley is underrepresented.

"We don't have as much participation in the Central Valley as we would like to have and we think those dollars should be coming back training our workforce, getting our employers that training advantage that other parts of the state take advantage of more than we do," said Westerlund.

Friday, the city of Fresno held an ETP training to help prospective businesses learn how to cash in on the free program.

Alert-O-Lite just expanded and is looking to hire more employees.

"Especially in this day and age because of wages going up, prices and products going up, anything you can do to stay competitive and keep your costs down is good for everybody," said Debbie Hunsaker.

Dollars range depending on the company's size and efforts. training must be documented.

As for the Brownie Baker, they've seen an increase in productivity and hope one day to grow their business and go into more stores around the globe.

If you're looking to take advantage do those employment training panel of ETP funds for next year, officials say now is the time to apply. Go to
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