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Custom Fit Moves Fast: Five Questions for Diana Guetschow of SLCC 

August 23, 2021

For more than three decades, CustomFit Training has provided flexible and customized training to businesses in Utah. Using a cost-share approach with companies, the program is available across the state through the Utah System of Higher Education institutions; regionally through its eight technical colleges, Snow College, Utah State University Eastern, and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).

We caught up with Diana Guetschow, Director of Workforce Training in the division of Workforce and Economic Development at SLCC, to learn more about how companies can access and utilize Custom Fit.

 

What is the “elevator speech” about Custom Fit?
As a state investment with industry in Utah’s economic vitality and workforce development, Custom Fit provides and supports training designed to aid in retention and expansion of Utah companies, attract new businesses to the state, and meet employers’ specific education needs. Custom Fit accomplishes this through jointly funded partnerships between Utah companies and Utah System of Higher Education institutions.

Our experienced workforce managers meet with the company to understand its training needs and to source the best training options designed to meet their learning objectives. Then our team works with the company and the training provider to secure the training with Custom Fit support.

Training may be provided at the company site, at one of our SLCC campuses, or at the training provider location.  

And it’s affordable. In terms of match funding, it varies across the state, depending on the institution. At SLCC, we’ll match up to 40 percent of the company’s costs for the training.

 

Who can take advantage of Custom Fit?
For-profit companies in Utah are eligible for the program, and the trainees must be W2/W4 employees of the business, not contractors or temp positions.

 

How does a company apply and what are some best practices in the application process?
When a company identifies a specific training need, submit the training request form found here. At that time, be ready to define how the training will help grow your business, retain talent, and remain competitive.

We accept applications throughout the year, but typically have more demand than we have funding, and we allocate all of our funding every year.

Once an application is submitted and validated, we’re pretty quick in providing a yes or no, usually within a week of submission.

Visit our Custom Fit web page to learn more about the program, eligibility, and steps to apply.

 

What examples can you give of companies making successful use of Custom Fit?
There’s a manufacturer that bought a $50,000 piece of new equipment, which required $10,000 of training before they could start operating it. We helped with a funds match, they hired new staff, and have quadrupled their output.

Another example is a food manufacturer that required training on food safety. After the training, they were able to win a new contract, and grow from 20 to 100 staff.

Editor’s note - Diana also shared testimonials from Bret Rasmussen of KURU Footwear and Alex Adema of DPS Skis.

“The EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) training we received has helped us a ton. My executive leadership team is more aligned than we've ever been and we've improved multiple processes throughout the company due to the training,” said Bret Rasmussen, CEO of KURU Footwear. “This year we are experiencing record breaking growth and the Custom Fit Training we received will continue to fuel the growth. In fact, we are now accelerating new hires due to all this growth. Creating more jobs here in Utah!”

"DPS Skis has benefited greatly from the support of the Custom Fit program,” said Alex Adema, president and CEO of DPS Skis. “It has provided valuable resources that have allowed us to cultivate a learning culture, engaging with training programs and opportunities organizationally that we wouldn't have been able to commit to otherwise."

 

What’s your closing message to the EDCUtah investor base?

First of all, we want to give credit to the Legislature for their continuing support of the program. It’s grown into a purposeful, well-run program and the thought the Legislature has put into it continues to pay dividends for the state.

Custom Fit is available to for-profit companies in Utah across all sectors. SLCC Workforce Training welcomes the opportunity to engage with industry to learn how we can help support their growth and employee development. We are nimble enough that if we don’t currently have a training solution, we can develop it in a timely fashion to meet the needs of companies. CEOs can’t wait – they need it today. We make every effort to move at the speed of business.

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