WHCCD Award California Apprenticeship Grant for Agriculture and Industrial Science Apprenticeships

West Hills Community College District has been awarded the California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) Grant for Agriculture and Industrial Science Apprenticeships.

The CAI Grant will allow WHCCD to continue the work of expanding apprenticeships within their service area to include delivering related and supplemental instruction, assisting in outreach and recruitment, providing program administration, and offering wrap-around apprentice support services necessary for apprentices to be successful.

The $500,000 grant will specifically fund Agriculture and Industrial Science apprenticeships.

“This award would not be possible if not for project support and/or commitment from Olam, Fresno Equipment Company, Red Rooster Co., Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, Neil Jones Food Company (Tomatek), Harris Farms, and Peri & Sons Farms,” said Corinna Pereira, WHCCD Apprenticeship Director. “In addition, the following community partners provided letters of support: California League of Food Processors,  Kings County Economic Development Corporation, Fresno Business Council, Fresno Economic Development Corporation, San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance, Assembly-member Joaquin Arambula, and Kings and Fresno County Workforce Development Boards.”

Pereira added that these important opportunities are geared toward offering jobseekers a leg up in the workforce.

“21st Century apprenticeships in agri-business, precision ag-science, farm equipment maintenance, food science/safety, plant maintenance, irrigation design, automation controls, and pest control will positively change lives, foster community development, and cultivate economic prosperity in rural California,” she said. “WHCCD looks forward to serving constituents and stakeholders delivering real workforce solutions by training local people and wishes to thank local partners for the ongoing contributions to the development of middle-skilled workers within the communities we serve.”

Apprenticeships will offer participants employment while training for a career with living wages – starting at 50% or more of the journeyperson wage. Trainees will develop marketable job skills through a structured and supervised apprenticeship program, receive college credit/units that can lead to a degree, and obtain a state certificate of completion that confirms work experience, course instruction, and mastery of job skills.

For more information on partnering with WHCCD to offer apprenticeships in your organization, contact Corinna Pereira at 559-934-2168.