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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #16-40
May 26, 2016
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces First High School Graduates with "Pre-Apprenticeship" Diplomas

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated the first California high school students who are graduating with a new "pre-apprenticeship" recognition on their diplomas—a national industry seal of approval that paves their way into skilled building and construction trades or college.

The 53 students spent three years as members of Multi-Trade Partnership Academies, a collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Labor Federation to provide the first pre-apprenticeship opportunity in the nation.

This program is one of many efforts underway to expand and improve Career Technical Education (CTE) in California by creating clear, practical pathways to careers in demand.

Pre-apprenticeships accelerate training and entry into high-paying union trades including electrical workers, carpenters, plumber and pipefitters. Enrollment is growing, and more than 400 students are expected to graduate statewide in 2017. The students are certified by the National Building Trades Council in Washington, D.C.

"I want to congratulate all these graduates and wish them success in the skilled building trades," Torlakson said. "These academies provided them with a sense of family, a sense of hope, and a promise for a bright future in an important job."

Students work side-by-side in CTE programs that combine rigorous academics and hands-on learning to help them succeed in 21st century careers and college.

Participating schools include Salinas High School, Salinas; North Valley Trade Tech High School, Vista; Soquel High School, Soquel; Herbert Hoover High School, San Diego; Norte Vista High School, Riverside; Arroyo Valley High School, San Bernardino; and Arvin High School, Arvin.

The Multi-Trade Partnership Academy concept was developed by CDE and the California Labor Federation, which represents 2.1 million union members, to help more young workers into building and construction industries, which have an aging workforce. In California, more than half of all skilled trade workers are 45 or older, and more than one of every five workers is 55 or older.

Reports from labor representatives, teachers and students have been excellent, according to Jerry Winthrop, who oversees the California Partnership Academy program for CDE. "These construction academies never before had such a clear purpose, as industry partners have guided the instruction toward excellent skill development and employment opportunities."

The California Partnership Academies are part of the Superintendent's California Career Readiness Initiative. Last year, Governor Brown provided nearly $31 million for the academies, and made the successful program a permanent part of the State Budget based on its continuing success in helping at-risk youth.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, December 30, 2019
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