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This summer marked a significant milestone for the Valley Apprenticeship Connections (VAC) as over 15 students celebrated their graduation from the 12-week program. VAC continues to make a big impact in the Central Valley by training and educating individuals for careers in the construction industry. Graduates receive several certifications, including OSHA 10, Confined Space Certification, and Work Zone Safety/Traffic Control Certification, giving them with the skills needed to thrive in the industry.

One standout graduate, Sean Marquez, is an example of what the VAC program can do for a person. Coming from a challenging background, Marquez has turned his life around through hard work and determination. His progress has been remarkable, earning praise from his teachers and probation officer. “I heard about VAC through my probation officer, and I didn’t want to just work a minimum wage job,” Marquez shared. “Coming here, getting these certifications, and networking is going to really help me achieve my goal.”

One of the most helpful things the program does is give the opportunity for graduates to connect with potential employers. At the end of the program, the VAC team organizes events where employers can meet and consider graduates for job openings. “I already began applying to jobs and I’m hoping to hear from one very soon,” Marquez added.

Fresno County Board of Supervisor, District 2 Steve Brandau, was a guest speaker at the graduation, along with Fresno EOC Board Chair, Oliver Bains.

The Fresno EOC Valley Apprenticeship Connections program plays a crucial role in meeting the hiring needs of Central Valley’s construction contractors. The 12-week training, held Monday to Friday from 7 am to 2 pm, covers various aspects such as self-evaluation, soft skill development, construction math, and valuable networking opportunities with Union Trades and Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.

The next session of the 12-week program is set to begin August 5, 2024, welcoming a new group of students in Kerman. For more information on the program or details on how to sign up, click here.

Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these graduates and the positive impact VAC continues to make in the community.


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