Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Apprenticeship fair at Grossmont College open to public

Apprenticeships in San Diego County offer median earnings in excess of $60,000 a year, experts say, but many slots go unfilled because workers don’t know about them.

To help raise public awareness, an East Region Apprenticeship Fair, open to East County high school and college students and the general public, is set for Friday, May 12, at the Grossmont College Main Quad. 

The fair is open to high school students from 8-11:30 a.m., then to everyone else from noon-3 p.m. The focus of the morning session is to inform teens of apprenticeships as an option for training and education, while the afternoon sessions will be geared to an adult audience. Workshops will include “Overview of the Trades,” “Females in Apprenticeships,” and “Work Readiness.”

Coordinated by the Grossmont Union High School District, Grossmont Adult Education and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, the free event is for those interested in learning about apprenticeship opportunities in San Diego and Imperial counties.

Representatives from 18 apprenticeship programs – mostly from the construction trades -- will provide information on on-the-job training for high-demand careers. Among them are Associated Builders & Contractors of San Diego, Inc. (ABC); Associated General Contractors (AGC); General Dynamics; Technology Apprenticeship Program; San Diego & Imperial Counties Bricklayers & Stone Masons JATC; Kitchens for Good; Chefs de Cuisine of San Diego; and San Diego Cosmetology Apprenticeship Progam.

The apprenticeship fair is an outgrowth of the high school district’s College and Career Readiness (C&CR) initiative, a push to ensure students are prepared for a postsecondary education, career training, or the workforce once they graduate from high school.

Apprenticeships are work-based, earn-while-you-learn opportunities that prepare workers for occupations in industries such as construction to manufacturing and healthcare. Median annual earnings for apprentices in San Diego County are $61,532, according to the California Department of Apprenticeships, yet industry leaders like the East County Economic Development Council have found in multiple studies that very few individuals are aware of apprenticeships or how to enroll in one.

As part of a collaborative effort to ensure East County has a well-prepared workforce, the high school and college districts have joined on other initiatives such as the East County Alliance, a unique partnership created in 2014 to provide East County youth with a smoother path to college and careers.
In April, it was announced that Grossmont College will receive a $410,000 state grant for an innovative outreach program preparing high school students and adult learners in East County’s underserved communities for apprenticeships. The centerpiece of the program is a Pre-Apprentice Mobile (PAM) Lab that will serve as an outreach and education vehicle at career fairs, high schools, and adult schools in an effort to spread the word about apprenticeship opportunities and begin preparing interested students to become apprentices.

“The apprenticeship fair and the PAM Lab will bring awareness to the comprehensive nature of education offerings at Grossmont College,” said Javier Ayala, dean of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development at Grossmont College.

For more information about the East Region Apprenticeship Fair, contact C&CR Work-based Learning Specialist Frank Luera at fluera@guhsd.net

Free parking will be available in Lot 7 at Grossmont College.

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