Valley Glen – – During these challenging times of budget constraints and class cuts, Los Angeles Valley College has developed a unique and innovative approach to return displaced and dislocated community members to the workforce.
Taking advantage of idled classrooms, the college is presenting three sets of classes using the professional facilities of the Engineering Building. More than 60 individuals are participating in one of three academies, all designed to create or enhance the much needed skills demanded by today’s employers.
A key example is the Manufacuturing Academy. Funded by the City of Los Angeles’ Workforce Investment Board (WIB) via the Metro North Goodwill WorkSource Center, federal money is being invested to assist 15 displaced and dislocated workers with a new prospect for employment.
The six-week employment training program focuses on introducing the necessary production skills employers are looking for in an entry-level employee. The Academy provides participants the confidence to successfully run operations on a CNC machine and conduct first article inspections on machined parts. In addition, participants also receive coursework in shop mathematics, blueprint reading, shop safety, and broader business topics such as lean manufacturing.
Classroom work is also supplemented with guest speakers who share their expertise and enthusiasm of their craft. In addition, employability skills such as resume and application writing, interviewing techniques, and labor market information are presented.
The Academy recently toured two local manufacturing firms, Klune Industries in North Hollywood and Superior Thread Rolling in Arleta. The tours proved to be both educational and strategic, providing participants an insight into the industry as well as providing an excellent opportunity to network with employers. The Academy also serves as a bridge for individuals interested in entering the LAVC’s certificated programs.
Also offered this summer is the highly successful L. A. Fellows program , a unique program designed to combine workforce development with skills training and volunteer opportunities while students seek employment. The two programs are rounded out by the Microsoft Academy, which presents a hands-on opportunity to learn select programs from the Microsoft Suite often required by employers as a requirement to hiring.
By centralizing the classes in a single building, the college maintains their goal of energy efficiency, maxamizing the use of air conditioning power while minimizing energy usage.