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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Sept. 6, 2006


Santa Monica College is pleased to announce it has received two economic development grants totaling $1.2 million to develop a program to train workers in the ever-expanding field of logistics – the global movement of goods and services – and in health care.

The two grants of $600,000 each were awarded by the California Community Colleges’ Chancellor’s Office.
The logistics training grant is designed to train 525 workers currently in the declining manufacturing industry – all of whom are facing job loss – in the emerging logistics field, in positions ranging from skip loaders to managers. It will also help those currently in the logistics field to upgrade their skills.

“Santa Monica College is perfectly positioned to provide this training, given our location in a region where logistics is one of the largest employment growth sectors and given our proximity to two of the world’s largest ports and Los Angeles International Airport,” said SMC Provost Marvin Martinez, who oversees the college’s Office of Workforce & Economic Development. “These grants demonstrate that SMC is on top of the trends in economic development in this region and is committed to preparing our work force for excellent jobs in growth industries.”

Under the terms of the grant, the college will work in partnership with several other organizations, including Triangle Network, a logistics corporation in Los Angeles; Los Angeles and Long Beach port agencies; Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.; Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board; Center for International Trade and Development; and Long Beach Workforce Investment Board.

Logistics is the second largest employment sector in the U.S. and is forecast to continue to grow, according to industry professionals. Organizations spend nearly $800 billion a year on logistics in the U.S., and worldwide, more than $1.4 trillion is spent annually.

Jobs in logistics range from relatively unskilled positions, such as truck drivers, to sophisticated management posts in inventory control, production, warehouse operations and more. Industry officials say the field is particularly rich in offering new management opportunities.

The health care grant will allow SMC and industry partners to implement short-term training activities that enable individuals to enter the health care industry as certified nursing assistants, medical front office clerks, substance abuse counselors and home health aides. Up to 260 participants in the Los Angeles area, with at least 65 being CalWORKS recipients, will receive training. The project will help address the critical workforce shortages throughout California’s health care field.

SMC will work with the following partners on the grant project – Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board; American Caregivers, Inc.; California Certification Board of Chemical Dependency Counseling; California Alcohol and Drug Program; and Golden State Adult Day Care Centers.

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