REDDING--The Department of Industrial Relations, in a coordinated effort with educators from two school districts, community college and business leaders, plan to launch a program today to provide apprenticeship opportunities for local students in the growing health and automotive repair industries.
DIR Director Lloyd W. Aubry Jr., announced his chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards will sign the agreement with the Shasta-Trinity Regional Occupation Program, as the coordinator with nine high schools and dozens of business leaders, to provide a state-recognized apprenticeship program that becomes part of a pilot project planned for seven California areas. Director Aubry said the signing is the first step for the Redding area to establish a plan to fast track students into careers with opportunity.
The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Shasta-Trinity ROP Office, 4659 Eastside Road, Redding, CA. High schools involved include Shasta City, Anderson, West Valley, Enterprise, Foothill, Central Valley, Trinity, Hayfork and Ruth.
Under the plan's outline, participating students from the nine local schools and the community college will have a choice of two industries: either automotive repair, including parts supply management and body/fender repair; or the medical field with training yet to be established. The students participate in a specially targeted curriculum and part-time apprenticeship training.
Called the Schools to Career/Apprenticeships Program, the strategy provides students with valuable knowledge about careers that await them in the California job market and allows them an early entry into career paths with formalized training and education. With the average age of apprentices statewide currently at 28 years, high school and community college students who successfully participate in the program can expect to develop skills that will make them eligible for higher paying journey-level jobs at much earlier ages.
"This is a unique opportunity for our young people to have access to career paths that were rarely open before," Aubry said. "What we can do with this joint effort between our Division of Apprenticeship Standards and these local leaders is to open doors into two areas for these students. This goal is now within reach here in Redding as a result of the hard work and dedicated efforts from our partners."
The pilot project is a by-product of Governor Pete Wilson's School-to-Career program developed by his task force last year. 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.
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 certificate from the community college, and/or completion of a four-year college or university degree.
The Division of Apprenticeship Standards will provide technical assistance to the Shasta-Trinity ROP, a consortium of business interests and educators from the area coordinated under the County Board of Supervisors, to ensure the successful completion of the students involved in the program.
Redding is the fifth program involved in the statewide pilot project. Salinas, Milpitas -- both in the Bay Area -- Torrance and Riverside have also formed similar partnerships with the state. The districts all expect to have the programs available by fall enrollment. The program is scheduled to expand further when agreements are reached with educators in Auburn and Stockton.