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Engineering Program Established for Veterans
Date:7/21/2014

p>"The ability for vets to participate in this type of industry cluster-specific training program will provide a meaningful role in the development of their academic skills and competencies as well as long-term partnerships with employers," said Pico, who also helped create the program.

The need for technicians has become critical for LLNL as well as other Bay Area employers, especially since many local community colleges had to reduce their two-year technical-degree programs because of state budget cuts. LLNL needs a significant number of technicians to support the replacement of an estimated 200 vacancies over the next five years from retirements.

In response, LLNL, LPC, WIB and the nonprofit Growth Sector developed the curriculum needed for the Engineering Technology Program. Funding from WIB and Growth Sector's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) development program, combined with a hands-on technical training at the Lab and LPC's large veteran population, made launching the Engineering Technology Program possible.

WIB plans and oversees local workforce investment programs, which include one-stop career centers, youth and adult programs, as well as other federal programs that specifically address high-growth industry workforce gaps. Growth Sector develops strategic approaches to bring together employers, community colleges, government and foundations to develop pathways to high-wage, high-growth jobs.

"The collaboration between industry experts and educators has created a program that meets the requirements of local industry's need," said Todd Steffan, the Veterans' First coordinator at Las Positas who helped develop the program. "In this case, it is more engineering technicians. Ultimately, we hope this program leads to good-paying careers for many of our returning veterans."

McCormick said the average age for veterans to attend college after active duty is 24. I
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