Aerospace manufacturer R&B Machine has helped develop some of the world’s most prestigious space programs, including the Mars Rover and International Space Station. However, in an industry with an aging workforce, finding employees with the expertise to develop highly engineered aerospace components and replace retiring workers is a challenge.

The company began working with the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (formerly Workforce Investment Board) to address this need, through its On-the-Job Training program. This program reimburses companies up to 50 percent of a new hire’s wages during their first three months of employment as they learn and develop new skills.

“The number-one complaint from our industry is the problem of recruiting trained staff,” said R&B Machine President Mark Mahboubi.  “I am tired of hearing the complaints, and proud to say we have found a solution.”

R&B Machine is based in Upland where it has a 20,000-square-feet climate-controlled facility serving satellite, aerospace, defense, energy, medical device and other high-tech related sectors. It is a key supplier of satellite communication systems to Boeing.

In the past, most of its highly trained graduates were recruited through industry associations, until Mahboubi learned of the help the company could receive from the On-the-Job Training.

“It was a pleasant surprise to hear that the County could help us with our recruitment,” Mahboubi said.  “We hadn’t previously tapped into the local workforce program, but now 25 percent of our staff were employed through On-the-Job Training.”

James Ramos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, indicated that On-the-Job Training is just one of the many workforce services available to businesses.

“The demand for the On-the-Job Training program has grown, particularly in industries like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and construction,” he said.  “These industries are most heavily impacted by an aging skilled workforce and need to train workers to replace them.”

During the most recent program year ending in July, 259 people were placed into On-the-Job Training in San Bernardino County.

“It represents an opportunity to use our resources to solve specific hiring challenges, while providing well-paying positions for our residents,” added Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board.

R&B Machine continues to train staff after the On-the-Job Training program ends.  After employees have completed over 950 hours (approximately three years) of training they become fully qualified Computer Numerically Controlled programmers.

“This program allows us to train and educate qualified newcomers according to our standards, and establish a skilled professional career for our trainees,” Mahboubi concluded. “I am a true believer in the On-the-Job Training program; it has been very successful for us.”

About the Workforce Development Board of San Bernardino County
The Workforce Development Board of San Bernardino County (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors.  The Workforce Development Board strives to strengthen the skills of the County’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources, which generate jobs and investment.

The Workforce Development Board, through the County of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the County’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.csb-win.org. Also follow us on: Facebook www.facebook.com/SBWIB; Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB.