As part of the Citi Foundation Community Progress Makers (CPM) Grant, Propel L.A. has partnered with El Camino College and L.A. Valley College (LAVC) to offer a short-term job training program, offering training courses in the aerospace and advanced transportation industries, as well as other courses in high demand career fields. In its Manufacturing Academy, LAVC offers a free six-week training course and works with Goodwill Industries for soft skills training. They recently held their graduation from the first Propel L.A. cohort.
Students who participated in the program had varying backgrounds and experiences. One graduate who was funded by the Citi CPM grant, Jesus Lira, was excited to learn of the program and the opportunity to expand on his skills of machine tooling and design. Jesus is familiar in working with his hands, building things with his own tools, and working in his father’s shop repairing musical instruments. He’s also an artist and can mentally conceptualize drawings and blueprints. He likes to learn but lacked the funds to advance in his skills and talents. After learning of the free job training program, he eagerly signed up to learn skills to advance in his career.
An inspiration and leader to his fellow students in the program, Jesus was chosen to deliver the commencement address at the graduation ceremony on October 22, 2018.
The LA Valley College Manufacturing Academy started in 2006, offering CNC Machining courses in a six-week format. LAVC faculty works with local employers to help graduates access job interviews to help them find jobs within local companies. The Family Resource Center is located on the LAVC campus and is the only one of its kind in California – giving support to students through services such as workshops, mental health, food pantry, and other resource assistance as needed to participants in the Propel L.A. cohort.
The Academy offers training in conventional and CNC lathe and mill operations, blueprint reading and inspection procedures, with the additional bonus of guest speakers from local industry and company tours.
Jesus and the other graduates are looking forward to putting their new skills to work to help them build and access a brighter, employable future.