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August 1, 2016

The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) understands that employers have difficulty finding workers with the essential (soft) skills (e.g., critical thinking, work ethics, communication) appropriate for their companies as well as the hard skills needed to perform their job. The balance of both types of skills is especially important in the retail industry where customer service is a key to doing business. For companies that want to upgrade the skills of their existing employees, SDWP provides Customized Training funds for incumbent (current) workers. With these funds, SDWP will co-invest in training existing retail employees by reimbursing the company 50 percent* of the cost of training.

Eligible companies include all San Diego retail businesses that sell goods or products directly to consumers. The employer determines how many people will be trained and who will conduct the training. Once the training plan and budget are determined, SDWP’s Business Services Team walks the employer through the Customized Training application. After the Customized Training agreement is executed, SDWP reimburses the employer at intervals of training and a final check after confirming that workers are retained in employment 90 days after training.

The goal of Customized Training is to upskill workers in order to move them up a company’s career ladder. To accomplish this, in order for retail employers to receive training funds, employees who complete the training must reach one of the following career milestones:

  • Earn a wage that is higher than what they earned before the training program
  • Be promoted to a higher position or a position that has documented evidence of career advancement
  • Move from part-time to full-time employment at the company

SDWP is accepting Customized Training applications from retail employers until February 27, 2017. All funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to apply, contact Christiane Becker, Business Services Representative, at

*Some restrictions apply.

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