Utah State University Eastern has received a $100,000 grant donated by Kem C. Gardner. The grant will help fund student scholarships at the university.
For over 30 years, Custom Fit has helped Utah-owned businesses and individuals afford essential trainings. These trainings span from continuing education credits to OSHA, MSHA, and other industry-specific certifications. Custom Fit covers up to 50% of the cost of eligible trainings and can help businesses train new and existing employees.
Similarly, Short-Term Intensive Training (STIT) funding is available for individuals in Southeastern Utah who shoulder the cost of trainings on their own. Both programs are aimed at helping Utah residents gain new skillsets, achieve higher-earning positions, and addressing labor gaps in local communities.
"STIT is a great program for students," said Jerrame Yarbrough, student, full-time worker, and father of five. "It makes it much more affordable to get needed training, like in my case where I need to complete OSHA, MSHA, fire safety training, and other field-specific trainings."
According to Ethan Migliori, director of the Center for Workforce Development at USU Eastern, the Custom Fit and STIT programs use state funds to strengthen the Utah workers and fill labor gaps.
"I've worked with both programs for over 15 years, and I'm still amazed at the number of businesses that don't know they exist," said Migliori. "There are training dollars out there to help for-profit businesses train their employees. We can help with just about anything."
The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity describes the mission of Custom Fit as a way "to support economic and workforce development through training partnerships between Utah companies and the Utah System of Technical Colleges."
Karry Deeter, owner of Deeter Accounting, provides bookkeeping, payroll, and tax help for individuals and businesses in the Blanding area. Deeter has experience both as an instructor for the Custom Fit and as a recipient of Custom Fit assistance.
"If there are areas where you're lacking in your business, there are trainings out there," said Deeter. "Custom Fit gives you the opportunity to get reimbursed for making those improvements, so why would you not take that opportunity to grow and learn?"
Distribution of Custom Fit and STIT funds for individuals and businesses in Southeast Utah, including Grand, San Juan, Carbon, and Emery counties, is handled by Utah State University Eastern in Price and Blanding. Interested individuals are encouraged to reach out and counsel with a USU representative about how these funds can best be used to improve businesses and employee skill sets.
"Applying for these programs is very easy," said Yarbrough. "I would encourage any student or professional to absolutely get all the help you can get to pay for your education and plan for your future."
More information about these programs and applications can be found online at caas.usu.edu/avte/sparc/ or contact Meghan McFall at meghan.mcFall@usu.edu, 435-678-8102 for Grand and San Juan counties, or Ethan Migliori at email@example.com, 435-613-5460 for Carbon and Emery counties.