Through a generous grant from the Citi Foundation, Propel L.A. sponsors numerous students in the six-week manufacturing academy at the Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC). On April 24, LAVC hosted an Open House to showcase over $250,000 in investments and upgrades for the manufacturing technology department. The event was a full house filled with employers, industry partners, current students, prospective students and engaged faculty.
The Los Angeles region is #1 in manufacturing in the country and providing training in high demand industries leads to good paying jobs. “Manufacturing is on fire right now. There is a shortage of skilled workers and we’re interested in combating that through the six-week program,” said Roberto Gutierrez, Program Manager at the LA Valley College Manufacturing Academy.
“It’s amazing to me to see a person whose only work experience was babysitting, and in six weeks, they are running a machine somewhere. It’s so fascinating and amazing to watch,” said Mark Magee, instructor in the Valley College academy program. The academy has a 90% job placement rate after completion of the program and numerous employers came to the open house looking to grab resumes and talk to students.
“I’ve been looking for people for 40 years and I’ve never had enough – I can think of at least 15 vacancies currently”, said Harry Smith, Human Resource Manager at MS Aerospace, a large company that makes parts for SpaceX. “We’ve been really happy with people from the Academy. I hope to see some of you in my factory and I encourage you to apply for a position,” he concludes in his remarks to the students present.
Students note that the program allows them professional career advice, resume review and skills-building. “The program is absolutely great. I wasn’t expecting this much advanced technology to be taught and I think it’ll make me more marketable once I complete the program,” said Matt Jafarian, a student sponsored by Propel L.A. He was previously a graphic designer and wanted to make a career change. He stated: “I couldn’t have done it without Propel L.A.’s financial help; it really has helped me switch gears”.
Students at the Open House were in the middle of the third week of the program and are eager to put their new skills to work once the class has finished!