Do some of your employees need training that you fear far exceeds your budget? Don't overlook the resources of your local community college, which may offer computer courses, including training on specific software. While services among community colleges vary, a community college is where Bill Carson, president of Cutting Dynamics, in Cleveland, found the courses his employees need--at a price he can afford.

Workers at the $5 million aircraft parts manufacturer learn specialized skills, like blueprint reading, twice a week. Rather than pay individual student fees for the 18 employees who enrolled, Cutting Dynamics pays for each 30-hour class. Carson expects the class to pay for itself in improved productivity. "Some machine tools cost as much as $600,000," and, he says, he knows that "it costs more if your people don't know how to operate them efficiently."