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IVROP will pre-train entire beef plant force

March 09, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

Officials with the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program announced Thursday they will pre-train all 600 people that would be hired at the beef-processing plant in Brawley

That announcement came days after IVROP officials said they had received a $689,000 state grant that would allow them to pre-train only about 200 people to work at the plant.

The grant created Project Hope, the name given to the effort to train those 200 people.

As part of that grant, the IVROP could train those who meet specific qualifying factors such as being in a CalWorks program, or those who work but are below the poverty level.

In Thursday's announcement, IVROP officials said they will expand Project Hope so that anyone interested in working at the beef plant can apply for the pre-training.


While the IVROP grant will only provide enough funding to train the 200 people, Edwin Obergfell, a director with IVROP, said the agency will partner with others to make sure all who would be employed by the beef plant can get the pre-training.

Those other agencies include B.P. Ventures, the company that would operate the beef plant, the Imperial County Office of Employment Training, county Social Services, the state Employment Development Department, the city of Brawley and Design & Engineering of El Centro, which is serving as a liaison for Project Hope.

Officials with B.P. Ventures said they are looking to hire as many as 600 people initially to work at the plant, and later they could hire as many as 1,200 should the plant prove successful.

Obergfell said people interested in the pre-training can obtain applications from the EDD offices in El Centro, Brawley and Calexico, the county Office of Employment Training and Imperial Valley College.

Tom DuBose of Development Design & Engineering said B.P. Ventures is looking to hire as many local people as possible for the plant.

"Because of all the work and incentives provided to this facility and to B.P. Ventures, this company wants to provide these jobs locally," DuBose said.

Greg Beck, chief operating officer for the beef plant, credited the city of Brawley, Brawley City Manager Jerry Santillan, the Brawley City Council and the county for helping to make the beef plant possible.

He said because of their efforts B.P. Ventures made a promise to hire locally.

"We made promises that the vast majority would be local people and we intend to keep that promise," Beck said.

He added thanks to a "collective" partnership of agencies it will be possible to provide pre-training for the beef plant before it opens its doors in October.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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