IR # 96-42
Thursday, October 17, 1996

Rick Rice
Troy Swauger
(415) 972-8835

Healthy Future Ahead for Area Students in Apprenticeship Program

LODI-- The California Department of Industrial Relations, in a coordinated effort with the San Joaquin County Office of Education, the San Joaquin County Health Department, three regional occupational programs and four medical facilities, will formally launch a program today making apprenticeship opportunities available to local students, DIR Director Lloyd W. Aubry Jr., announced.

This is the sixth of seven pilot projects established since May as a result of recommendations from Governor Wilson's School-to-Career Task Force.

"This provides a unique opportunity for young people to gain paid experience that will lead to solid careers," Aubry said. "Once in place, this program will offer the health care industry a highly skilled workforce that will contribute to the local economy and increase the effectiveness of their employers."

The School-to-Career/Apprenticeship Program is the result of Governor Wilson's commitment to find opportunities for young people and to create a comprehensive system to help students acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to make an effective transition from school to employment. In 1994, the Governor issued an executive order creating the School-to-Career Task Force. As a result, the Division of Apprenticeship (DAS), through its School-to-Career/Apprenticeship Program, has established seven pilots throughout the state providing a variety of career choices including health care, culinary arts, precision metal forming, computer-aided design, automotive repair and parts supply management.

Under an agreement signed today, the program will receive accredited apprenticeship status from DAS. The agreement establishes a framework for students to receive specifically targeted curriculum and paid part-time apprenticeship training in the highly technical quarter of the health care industry.

The San Joaquin County program will coordinate efforts with the health department and the local medical industry of Dameron Hospital, St. Dominic's Hospital, Arbor Convalescent Hospital and Lodi Memorial Hospital. It will focus on building work skills and experience for students from ninth-grade through completion of the career path. While in high school, students start the program on a part-time basis. Once finished with school they can move into a full-time apprenticeship program with an already established employer. If a student chooses to continue his or her education at community college a part-time status remains.

Educators from Stockton, Manteca and Lodi unified school districts, along with San Joaquin Delta College, will participate through the county office of education. Training skills for laboratory technician, respiratory technician and physical therapist will be part of the apprenticeship program.

For participating students, career path completion includes one or more of the following: Successful conclusion of the apprenticeship program through high school, completion of an Associate of Arts degree and/or a certificate from a community college, and/or completion of a four-year college or university degree.

The Division of Apprenticeship Standards will provide technical assistance to ensure the successful completion of the students involved in the program. In addition to a project being launched in Auburn today, other pilot program locations include Redding, Salinas, Milpitas, Torrance and Riverside.