City Theatrical, Inc., the Bronx, NY-base manufacturer of lighting equipment and accessories, recently received a $47,700 state grant for employee training and professional development. The grant, awarded by the New York State Workforce Investment Board, is geared specifically for training workers in manufacturing industries. City Theatrical will use it to pay for training that is designed to increase its manufacturing efficiency and improve its sales and marketing.

"I’m in the midst of earning my MBA, and this experience--going back to school to improve my own skills--made me want to give everyone at City Theatrical the opportunity to further their education," says City Theatrical president Gary Fails. "We are honored to receive this grant, which will give our employees new opportunities to learn and help our company thrive."

City Theatrical is using the grant funds for training in every department, including engineering, manufacturing, sales, and financial. The grant covers the cost of the training, books and other materials, and salaries for staff who take classes during business hours. All training will be completed in the next year.

Specific items include the following:

• Two engineering staff will take online courses from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

• The chief electronic assembly staff member will have a year of classroom-based Electronic Engineering Training.

• Two manufacturing staff will study supply chain management and resource planning through APICS–The Educational Society for Resource Management, a nonprofit international educational organization.

• Two sales and marketing staff will take American Management Association sales and marketing courses.

• All employees will have computer training, including training for City Theatrical’s new integrated manufacturing system, which integrates inventory, production and financial data. The new system, scheduled to come online Jan. 1, 2002, is designed to allow for more efficient sales and inventory management.

City Theatrical’s application was one of 145 the New York State Department of Labor received from manufacturing companies. According to New York State Commissioner of Labor Linda Angello, "The overwhelming response to the [request for applications] indicates a high level of need to train workers employed in manufacturing to keep this vital industry sector competitive in the global economy."