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37-year-old John Her, a Fresno father of three, says he had never been to Disneyland as a child. And now, he has taken his kids to the theme park twice. John says it’s the result of hard work and applying himself to learn a trade through Fresno EOC Valley Apprenticeship Connections (VAC).
VAC is a job training program that prepares clients for a career in the construction industry. John completed the VAC program in 2019. He is now a plasterer and a member of a local labor union.
“I wake up every day and look forward to going to work. VAC opened doors for me. I learned new skills and earned the certifications needed to enter the trade. And now, I can provide for my family.” John says he works full-time year-round and makes $65 per hour. As a result, he has been able to purchase a brand-new family car, paid off his wife’s engagement ring, and is saving to buy a home.
John was on probation when he learned about the VAC Program. He was unemployed at that time, and had been having a rough time finding a job. So, both his probation officer and a good friend told him about the free, 12-week training program. “I hadn’t really thought about construction as a career, but I love it. VAC opened up new opportunities for me, helped me build confidence, and I am able to provide for my family.”

VAC Assistant Director Amalia Martinez says the training is intense but can be very rewarding. “The VAC program is responsible for placing more than 400 students in jobs with the construction industry since it was launched in 2015. John was a great student and one of the top achievers in his cohort. We are pleased to see how he is using his training.”

VAC is accepting applications for its next cohort in Fresno, which starts

January 3, 2023. Trainees must have reliable transportation, must be at an 8th grade level for reading and math, and they must be at least 18 years old. For more information about the VAC Program, call (559) 263-1110.

About Fresno EOC Valley Apprenticeship Connections (VAC)Fresno EOC Valley Apprenticeship Connections (VAC) supports the hiring needs of our Central Valley’s construction contractors. VAC students are immersed in a free, 12-week training program to prepare them for the workforce. The program includes a Monday-Friday schedule from 7am to 3pm, hands-on training at job sites, a personal journey of self-evaluation, behavioral change curriculum, soft skill attainment, daily physical education, and construction math. Trainees will also have meet-and-greet introductions with trade unions, including the Associated Builders and Contractors. Random drug testing will occur twice during the training.

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