Employees’ Transferrable Skills Take Them Beyond Transform Solar

Director Madsen,

While it is unfortunate we are shutting down due to our loss  of shareholder funding, please know  the training we provided all of our employees is fully transferable and should help make them better trained employees for other Idaho employers. The grant money allowed us to train our employees at a much faster cadence than we would have been able to accomplish without it. Our employees were exposed to many different types of training including Safety, Manufacturing, Semiconductor Process, Photovoltaic overview, Project Management, Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making, Lean and Six Sigma theories, 6S, and Quality.

Benefits Transform Solar received due to the grant include creation of a workforce development team, learning management system, pre-packaged computer based training modules for soft skills, a 10 desktop computer lab, a 10 laptop mobile computer lab and library of texts and manuals.

Strategic training partnerships created through this grant include a leadership development program with Boise State University, classes on programmable logic controllers with the College of Western Idaho, photovoltaic training with Austrailia National University and Treasure Valley Community College, internal technology knowledge transfer, attendance at national and international industry related conferences and seminars, and employee engagement through professional development.

I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to you, the Idaho Department of Labor and your team for awarding a Workforce Development Training Fund grant to Transform Solar. Both Leandra Burns and Jenny Hemly provided our company with exemplary service. Your team was always open to discussions on how the grant monies could be utilized which allowed our start-up flexibility in how the funds were used

Thanks to the department’s investment in Transform and its people, we wind down our business confident we utilized these precious training dollars to the best of our ability and the overall benefit to Idaho employers who become the beneficiaries of our people’s increased knowledge and skills. We are truly grateful for this experience.

Best Regards,

Rhett Dreger
Workforce Development Manager

Jana Straubhar
Human Resources Director

Editor’s Note: Idaho’s Workforce Development Training Fund was created in 1996 and has since helped hundreds of expanding Idaho companies train new employees as well as upgrade the skills of current workers at risk of layoff. Established in 1996, the fund is financed by the state’s businesses through a setaside from the unemployment insurance tax. Idaho businesses have tapped the fund to train over 20,000 workers for more than 200 companies since its inception. The application process is designed for quick turnaround with minimal paperwork.  To qualify companies must:
• Produce a product or service sold outside the region where their businesses are located;
• Pay the trained employees at least $12 an hour plus employer-assisted medical benefits; and
• Increase their current workforce or retrain existing staff who otherwise face layoffs.

Companies interested in learning more about the fund should contact their nearest local office or visit the workforce training section of  labor.idaho.gov.