New Members Appointed to The Verdugo Workforce Development Board

The Verdugo Workforce Development Board (VWDB) announced the appointment of the following individuals to its board of directors: Ara Aslanian, president, Inverselogic, Inc.; Susan Cabral-Ebert, president & assistant business representative, IATSE Local 706 Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild; Jeremy Dylan Lanni, political affairs representative for United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP); Darlene Sanchez, deputy director, City of Glendale Economic Development Corporation; Russell Tanakaya, general manager, Glendale Embassy Suites.

The Arroyo Verdugo Subregion Steering Committee, which includes city council members for the cities of Glendale, Burbank and La Cañada Flintridge, officially appointed the board members on May 16. The VWDB is a 32-member public-private partnership comprised of business, education, labor, government and other community leaders. The board represents the consortium of the three cities under a joint powers agreement and is responsible for planning and overseeing the workforce development and business services funded primarily by the United States Dept. of Labor under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act of 2014.

The new board members’ expertise will assist the board in carrying out its responsibilities and achieving its mission to transform lives, businesses, and the community through innovative workforce services.

Additionally, the VWDB announced that it has been awarded $178,571 by the State of California Employment Development Department in coordination with the California Workforce Development Board and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. This is the second Disability Employment Accelerator Grant that has been awarded to the VWDB. It is funded by the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Grant Title I Governor’s Discretionary fund.

The grant will train people with autism as computer numerical control (CNC) machinists and local employers have committed to hiring the trainees upon graduation. The training was designed by employers in partnership with Uniquely Abled and instruction will be provided by Glendale Community College (GCC). The first training was scheduled for launch June 20.

The program is a career pathway designed for people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Training will be conducted in a cohort style to teach teamwork skills and create a supportive environment for the trainees. The classroom training consists of 240 hours of instruction including: computer aided manufacturing (CAM) basic milling and practice, CAM basic lathe, and engineering print reading for industry. An additional 60 hours of classroom training will also be provided focused on workplace readiness and retention skills to ensure employment success. Trainees will be interviewed by employers prior to graduation so that offers can be extended before graduation day. New hires will begin on-the-job training program for the first few weeks of hire to ease the transition to the workplace and the VWDB will provide salary reimbursements to the employers during this period. Extensive support will be provided to trainees throughout the program, including individual job counseling, job coaching and follow up services for 12 months after hire.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 68 children are diagnosed with ASD in the United States.

The VWDB has been serving the tri-city consortium for more than 30 years with innovative employment and training services that create the competitive human capital required for sustained growth and industry leadership. It provides services out of its Verdugo Jobs Center, a proud member of the America’s Job Center of California, located in the City of Glendale and its satellite office, Burbank Workforce Connection. The VWDB has earned recognition for its specialized programs that successfully train and employ people with disabilities, veterans, English language learners, low income and youth.