published on September 6, 2017 - 11:29 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

In an effort to support pre-apprenticeship training in the Valley, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission a grant of $1.1 million to further the work it does with at-risk youth.

Over a three-year period, the money will go to Youthbuild, a program under the EOC’s Local Conservation Corps (LCC) program. YouthBuild and the LCC work to train young adults in specialized fields like the construction, solar and health care industries, as well as office training.

“For years now, YouthBuild Fresno has been increasing economic opportunities for our at-risk youth through education that balances the cultivation of academic skills, hands-on learning, job training and personal development,” Rep. Jim Costa said in a statement. “Fresno EOC’s YouthBuild program is good for the future of both our students and the entire Central Valley, and I look forward to seeing the program’s continued positive impacts on our Valley community.”

One of those impacts is in the way of sterile processing training, where students learn the procedures and skills necessary to sterilize instruments and equipment in hospitals.

Along with the rest of the health care industry, the California Economic Development Department predicts 16.9 percent growth in this field.

The LCC program started in 1993 and has helped, on average, 160 young adults a year.

The program also offers college-level training through a partnership with Fresno City College.

“The nation and the region’s ability to reconnect unemployed and undereducated young adults is essential to economic productivity,” John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA, said in a statement. “YouthBuild’s comprehensive model has the ability to change lives and improve communities.”


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