January 12, 2022

Invista invests in workforce solutions

Consequences of the pandemic have been felt far and wide. One of the most profound effects has been on the workforce.

Enter Invista Performance Solutions.

Meeting challenges

Invista provides customized services across sectors to meet organizations’ training and development needs. The collaboration between Clover Park Technical College, Pierce College District and Tacoma Community College offers education, training and consulting support to help companies increase the skills of their workforce and gain a competitive advantage in the global economy.

“Companies are facing multiple challenges,” said Invista Executive Director Don Sosnowski. “All of them are struggling with recruitment and retention. Employee development goes a long way in finding and keeping good people.”

Job Skills Program helps businesses grow

One of the benefits of working with Invista is access to Washington State funding for training programs. The Job Skills Program (JSP) matching grant provides funds for training to meet employers’ specific needs.

  • Invista teams with companies to determine what they want to accomplish.
  • Once training needs and customized solutions are identified, Invista writes the application for grant funding.
  • Professional consultants and instructors offer training to new and current employees at work or in the classroom.
  • The company matches the grant by paying the wages of employees during training hours.

Pierce County manufacturers nab part of record-breaking funding

Two years ago, Invista awarded $150,000 in JSP grants. In 2020, that number soared to $1.2 million. By year-end 2021, Invista was awarded $2.5 million in workforce grants for Washington State businesses.  And there are still funds available until June 2023.

Pierce County manufacturers got a big slice of that recording-breaking pie. Several referrals from the EDB resulted in JSP funding in just the last six months:

American Structures & Design: The Pacific manufacturer and distributor of aluminum railing, balcony and sunshade systems received a $125,937 JSP grant for lean, ERP, welding and learning management system. The grant was key in the company’s recent expansion project.

Northwest Door: The Puyallup manufacturer of residential and commercial garage doors was awarded a $33,801 JSP grant for supervisory and leadership development.

Rainier Woodworking Company: A $121,184 JSP grant will help the Tacoma cabinetry manufacturer with leadership and management training and lean and process improvement.

SAFEBoats: The shipbuilder received $45,356 in funding for welding and industrial training for employees in the company’s two locations in Bremerton and the Tacoma Tideflats.

Sekisui Aerospace: The Sumner-based aerospace manufacturer received a $28,821 JSP grant for leadership development and DEI training.

Invista also provided nearly $38,000 in training for Bradken, the result of an EDB referral. The Tacoma-based steel foundry and manufacturer of engineered products required welding certification training for their production employees. (This was not a JSP grant-funded project.)

A complete workforce resource

“We want to be a full resource for Pierce County businesses,” Sosnowski said, “from building college-supported programs that develop worker skills and offer certificates and degrees, to providing customized training.” It all adds up to profitability and financial stability.

Wide scope of training. Invista provides training in lean and process improvement, sales, respectful communication, DEI and anti-discrimination strategies, leadership and supervisory skills, management development, computer skills, ESL, technical and industrial manufacturing skills—you get the idea.

Small businesses win big. Job Skills Program grants are available for businesses of all sizes, but those with an annual gross income under $500K are exempt from the 100-percent matching requirements. Companies only pay the cost of trainees’ payroll during training.

Apply any time. Companies can apply for JSP grants anytime. Applications are reviewed quarterly and funded biennially.

Learn more about Job Skills Program grants and customized training on the Invista website. Or contact Don Sosnowski at [email protected].


Stay Informed

Interested in learning more about building a business in Pierce County? Our team of economic development professionals are here to help. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed.