FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno Unified is investing $9 million in its students by providing a first of its kind state of the art trades facility for high schoolers to learn real workplace experience before graduation.
The district broke ground Wednesday on a heavy truck maintenance and construction shop on the campus of Duncan Polytechnical.
"We know there's a huge need for truck mechanics so this puts our kids at the forefront to be able to gain certification in school to do those jobs on the outside and they can immediately leave our facility ready for the world to work," said FUSD Superintendent Bob Nelson.
The new facility is a game changer for students like Javier Torres. He says learning to work on big rigs will give him the skill set necessary to land a high paying right out of high school if he chooses.
"I"m looking forward to the sounds the engine makes and the feeling of working on a truck before I actually get a job and working it," said Torres.
The construction project is also significant to the local business community. Betts Company a truck parts and service provider in Fresno has already stepped up to partner with the district on this endeavor.
"The skill set required to service these vehicles is only going to grow and Duncan is in position to lead the nation in what we're doing here," said Betts.