AMS Fulfillment has long been committed to uplifting the community in one manner or another. With its massive warehouses, kept busy with shipping and receiving, assembling, picking and packing consumer goods, AMS hires a large number of entry-level employees. Knowing there are many individuals who need employment but may not have the basic skills to enter the workforce, AMS has, for several years, offered training programs in a fully equipped classroom space within their headquarter facility.
During an interview with AMS CEO Ken Wiseman, the question was asked: How did the AMS focus on training begin? Ken revealed the origins of the partnership with College of the Canyons (COC), saying, “Several years ago I attended a Business Alliance meeting at the COC where we engaged in a discussion on how the college could help local businesses. I told the group that it had been difficult to be fully aware of all of their opportunities while also correlating the opportunities with the educational needs of AMS, and I asked if there were college representatives who could come out and meet with us to explore how the business and the college could work together. I called it giving them a ‘license to hunt’!”
Ken said that within a few days of that first meeting, a number of persons in senior leadership at COC arrived at AMS, and from that time forward, the business and the college have been working together to explore educational opportunities and funding initiatives. We now know that was the beginning of a groundbreaking partnership that is a model for other businesses and colleges. Courses were soon offered at AMS as the idea took on life.
It soon became apparent that AMS needed to designate a specific room for training and education, so the company moved forward to design and fully furnish a classroom space. Proud employees took part in naming the classroom the Advance My Skills Learning Center. The ‘classroom at work’ idea was successful from the very beginning due to its convenience for employees and members of the community. Today the AMS Learning Center is the hub of a great deal of beneficial activity with students learning at a college level right on the AMS campus… all at no cost to the student!
The first classes were established to teach the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt course, which conveys a business management philosophy that is meant to improve the efficiency of a company. Soon after, AMS and COC began other courses: English as a Second Language, Microsoft Excel, Clerk Mentoring, and finally, a first of its kind Apprenticeship program; all of these in partnership with COC, and all classes open to the public as well as AMS employees.
Recently AMS added a 25-person computer lab as an additional learning center space. With regard to the computer lab, AMS CEO, Ken Wiseman indicated that the lab will soon be made available for lease to other SCV businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Ken said, “The computer lab is a great benefit, and nowadays a necessity in educational programs. Logistics is technology driven, and computers and hand-held devices are key to efficiency. Our classroom allows groups of employees to explore training and new technology updates together.”
The benefit of the classroom to the community was underlined recently when fifty top educators from around the state toured the AMS educational facility. One of the many conversations for Ken was with the head of Goodwill Southern California. They discussed additional partnership opportunities that will enable AMS to expand the promise of employment to even more individuals from communities that are underserved.
With the AMS facility available for lease, SCV community groups, other businesses, churches and organizations will have the opportunity to hold one-time events or ongoing classes in a well equipped, convenient and nearby location: 28624 Witherspoon Parkway in Valencia.
In advancing education and training opportunities, the community benefits, the company benefits, the social service organizations succeed, and the people who have been looking for a chance to prove what they can do for themselves and their families find that the door of opportunity is open.
We invite businesses, organizations and community groups to call us and arrange a tour of the Advance My Skills Learning Center. Please contact AMS at 661-775-0611 for more information.