Idaho will pay to retrain these Nampa workers. Then they’ll get raises.

Sorrento Lactalis’ cheese plant on Franklin Road in Nampa.
Sorrento Lactalis’ cheese plant on Franklin Road in Nampa.

Some workers at Sorrento Lactalis Inc.’s cheese plant in Nampa are about get an opportunity few workers receive: Take some state-subsidized job training, and your wages could increase by $3 an hour or more.

The plant will retrain 91 existing workers and train three new ones with a $283,000 workforce-development training grant financed by a portion of the unemployment tax that Idaho employers pay. When the training is done, they will earn an average of $27 an hour plus medical benefits, the Idaho Department of Labor said this week.

Sorrento Lactalis received the grant to help overcome what it sees as a lack of technical skills in its maintenance workforce, said Georgia Smith, the department’s deputy director for communications and research.

Most of the workers are maintenance techs, maintenance supervisors and fabricators. Their raises will be performance-based and may range from $3 to $4 per hour depending on the job, the level of training obtained and the earning of nationally recognized certificates, Smith said.

Starting wages for the jobs will range from $17 to $43 per hour.

Sorrento’s plant and distribution center at 4912 Franklin Road will have 688 positions once the training is complete, the Labor Department said.

Sorrento is a unit of the Lactalis American Group in Buffalo, N.Y., which is a unit of Italy’s Parmalat S.p.A., owned by France’s Groupe Lactalis.

David Staats: 208-377-6417, @DavidStaats