IVROP training residents for data-production jobs

April 14, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Hundreds of Calexico Housing Authority residents will be given data-production jobs in a partnership between Los Angeles-based US DataSource and the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program.

US DataSource, a data production firm hired by claims intensive companies, expects to have a labor force of 300 working by the end of the year in space set aside at the Hotel De Anza, according to Alex Perrone, a community coordinator for IVROP.

By June 4, Perrone said, US DataSource will have hired the first 100 people.

Lorena Vallejo of Calexico is one of those being trained by IVROP. She has been told the jobs will pay $6.50 an hour.

Housing Authority residents and people such as Vallejo are voluntarily taking advantage of the training and are not being paid. People taking such training are better positioning themselves for the jobs.


A large percentage of those hired will be Calexico Housing Authority residents because of an agreement made with the authority's executive director, Lupita Rios.

Rios OK'd the use of Housing Authority property for training purposes with the condition that residents be given a certain percentage of the jobs.

The rest of the work force will be made up of CalWORKs clients, according to county IVROP superintendent Mary Camacho.For the past few weeks a training program at the Mario Esquer Housing Authority community center on Eady Avenue has prepared authority residents and others for the jobs, which will require workers to punch information from hand written forms into computer databases.

US DataSource has donated 18 computers for the training.

Ricardo Jimenez, an IVROP instructor, has been working with residents to improve the time it takes them to punch in a form's worth of information.

On a dry erase board in the corner of the community center, the names of the young women being trained were displayed next to their rates of data production.

During the timed exercises the women studiously punched in information as Jimenez walked behind the students monitoring their progress.

Vallejo said when she started she was punching in 3,000 characters per hour.

"After a few classes I was punching in 14,000 (characters) per hour," Vallejo said.

The level the company wants is 10,000 per hour, she said.

Insurance companies or other companies that are claims intensive hire US DataSource when they need to "out source" work.

Camacho said this is just one of IVROP's more than 100 projects throughout the Imperial Valley.

She says the type of work provided by US DataSource makes the opportunity unique for the Housing Authority residents and CalWORKs clients.

"We want to work with the more established Valley industries but also provide chances for residents to train for new and emerging businesses," Camacho said.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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