Santa Monica College (SMC) has received two state grants totaling $865,000 to develop a program to train Westside transit workers in hybrid technology and related skills, as well as other area employees in the ever-expanding field of logistics, the movement of goods and services.
The two grants were awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and use will be based on participating companies’ needs, SMC officials said.
The $437,500 “advanced transportation” grant is to train technicians and managers at the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Culver City Transit Line in hybrid technology, alternative fuels and related fields as the two bus companies shift to using more alternative-fuel buses.
The $427,500 logistics grant is to provide training in areas such as intelligent systems, project management, quality improvement processes, global-level business practices and product/inventory control.
Training will be provided to Nippon Express of El Segundo, Eagle Global Logistics of Torrance, and Performance Team 3PL, with facilities in Compton, Carson and San Pedro. All training will be provided at the companies’ sites.
“SMC is claiming its stake in the logistics and transit industries,” said Chito Cajayon, acting dean of workforce development. “Up and down the state, there are only about five or six community colleges that can equal us.”
SMC vice president of planning and development Marvin Martinez added, “SMC is committed to truly serving the training needs of our local business and industries such as the Big Blue Bus and the Culver City Bus Lines.
“Our goal is to assist those agencies in improving their services and efficiency.”
This is the second grant SMC has received for logistics employee training.
Last year, SMC received a $600,000 state grant to train 525 workers in the declining manufacturing industry — all of whom faced job loss — in the emerging logistics field, in positions ranging from skip loaders to managers, SMC officials said.
The grant also helped those currently in the logistics field to upgrade their skills, officials said.
SMC trained employees at companies such as Sky Chefs, which provides food service to commercial airlines, in areas such as quality improvement techniques, computer training, import/export procedures and proj- ect management.
The college is also in the process of developing a logistics major through its Business Department, offering its first course, Principles of Logistics, this fall.