College of the Canyons added two apprenticeship programs to its college offerings this week as part of the second annual National Apprenticeship Week.
In 2011, the United States Department of Labor created Apprenticeship USA to address the issue of the untrained workforce and provide employers with the tools to create a highly-skilled workforce.
At community colleges throughout California, apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with supplemental school instruction for three to five years while students earn an income.
According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, more than 25,000 apprentices are enrolled in 160 apprenticeship programs in 66 trade and craft titles on 39 community college campuses.
“Our community colleges are proud to support tens of thousands of students every year through apprenticeships that put them on a fast track to well-paying, lifelong careers,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor for workforce and economic development, in a statement.
Now, COC is joining this group of California community colleges by announcing apprenticeship partnerships with AMC Fulfillment and California Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Collaborative South (CAMAC-South) this week.
“No official apprenticeship programs existed until now [at COC],” said Jeffrey Forrest, COC’s vice president of economic and workforce development. “There’s been a movement and national campaign for companies to invest in nontraditional and non-union based apprenticeships.”
The program with AMS Fulfillment, a third-party resource for warehouse management, order management and fulfillment services, will provide 13 individuals with training in warehousing and shipping beginning in early 2017.
According to Forrest, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office issued a grant application and initiative for any community college to create a new, non-traditional apprenticeship program with a minimum of 13 apprentices.
“We [COC] immediately thought of Ken Wiseman at AMS Fulfillment,” Forrest said.
When Forrest approached Wiseman he immediately agreed to the program and the college began the process of applying for the state grant.
“At AMS we are fortunate that we can offer many entry level jobs each year to individuals seeking employment,” said Wiseman, CEO and managing partner of AMS Fulfillment, in a company statement. “With this new apprentice program, we will take 13-individuals and give them a chance to take their logistics job, and turn it into a career.”
Within the program student will learn all phases and aspects of the warehousing and shipping within the company.
“They will learn all phasing of shipping, receiving and handling of packages, as well as the software that is related to distributions and more,” Forrest said.
In addition to the on-the-job training, the 13 apprentices will participate in an accelerated program at COC that includes classroom and online instruction to align with workplace competencies.
With the new program, AMS Fulfillment will become the first Santa Clarita Valley company to partner with COC for apprenticeship opportunities.
It will also be the first company in California to offer an apprenticeship program in warehousing and shipping, and the first company to apply for registered apprenticeship with Department of Labor in area of warehousing and shipping.
The CAMAC-South program is a registered apprenticeship program specializing in 11 occupations within the advanced manufacturing industry, like machinist, maintenance technician and welder.
Based on the CAMAC Standards introduced by John Dunn of American River College in conjunction with Siemens Corporation, the program aims to support local companies in developing skilled laborers.
“What makes this apprenticeship so special is that it is already approved at the federal government level and we can begin this immediately with confidence,” Forrest said. “It allows us to meet the needs of companies here much more efficiently and much more quickly.”
The related technical instruction (RTI) for the program will be provided by COC, Los Angeles Trade Tech and Los Angeles Valley College.
“We wanted to create a regional collegiate collaborative with apprenticeship standards so community colleges…. don’t have to invent the wheel to create our own set of standards,” Forrest said.
The single set of standards will allow the CAMAC-South program to be utilized by students at all three local community colleges.
When individuals complete their apprenticeships within AMS Fulfillment or CAMAC-South, they will receive a certificate or credential and will eligible for pay increase and/or a promotion with their employer.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_