When Parker Hannifin Corp., an aerospace manufactory, moved from southern California to Ogden in 1978, company officials were concerned about finding workers for the specialized technology slots.

A major factor in the decision was the understanding that Parker-Hannifin could call on Ogden/Weber Area Applied Technology Center to train workers in the precise skills the company needed.The technically trained workers make good salaries in a clean manufacturing environment. Of approximately 320 employees now at Parker Hannifin, about half have received some training at the Ogden ATC.

After hearing almost a dozen industry representatives tell the same story, punctuated by appeals for even better training capacity at the technical centers, members of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee decided to dig deeper into state funds to help the ATCs grow.

The panel responded to a call from Rep. Grant Protzman, D-Ogden, to increase their funding proposal by $183,000 to deal with current growth, $450,000 for anticipated growth and $2 million for a building block, should revenues allow. The ATCs must either get more money or start cutting programs, said Bruce Griffin, associate state superintendent, who oversees vocational education.

The five centers are located in Kaysville, Roosevelt, Ogden, Richfield and Logan.