Caldwell manufacturer gets training grant for jobs up to $40/hour

American Food Equipment Inc. in Caldwell will use $197,500 from the Idaho Department of Labor to train 54 full-time employees.

AMFEC, which manufactures food processing equipment, expects to fill the positions by April 2018. The new jobs will average $20.58 in hourly pay, ranging from $12 to $40 an hour, and include medical benefits.

Established in 1975, the Caldwell manufacturer makes industrial mixers, blenders, conveyors, air pumps, brine tanks and other customized equipment for customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

New positions will include plant manager, engineering manager and lead positions in welding, assembly, machine shop, fabrication, drafting, sales, administration and purchasing. Training will be provided internally and by a number of vendors, including Boise Rigging and PPG Industries.

The money, which comes from the Workforce Development Training Fund, will be reimbursed to the company after the training is complete.

The Labor Department awards money from the fund to eligible companies seeking to teach employees skills that can be easily transferred to another job or that help employees move up within a company.

Businesses eligible for training money must produce a product or service sold outside of their region, pay at least $12 an hour and offer medical benefits. The fund is financed by 3 percent of unemployment insurance taxes businesses pay each year.