A beloved attraction in Fresno got some special treatment by a local non-profit

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021116-kfsn-4pm-playland-spruced-up-vid (KFSN)

One of Fresno's most beloved attractions got some special attention Thursday. About a dozen people spruced up Playland.

Work was well underway at Playland Thursday morning, as participants in a pre-apprenticeship training program put their knowledge and skills into action. "It's an experience for them to do hands-on work in those fields and see where they fit and what they do well," said Pat Barr, Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program coordinator

Barr said the six-week program will give these men a look at different trades, from ironworkers to cement masons to plumbing.

It's sponsored by the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board and Local Trades Council. Twelve civilians and eight veterans are a part of the job-training. Veteran Shane Bartels is one of the participants. "I think it's a great thing. I've learned a lot and re-learned a lot.I got re-certified for first aid, medical, forklift, I've relearned basic math."

Bartels used some of his Navy knowledge and skills to help improve Playland. Now his goal is to find a career.

As a part of the program, the men will also learn life skills. "We do expectations. We also do elevator speech. Being able to greet people, being able to introduce themselves, present themselves in a way that people want to talk to them or interview them," said Barr.

Barr said highly skilled workers are in demand and training now will pay off later.

Part of the program includes giving back and many were happy to help in any way they can at Playland. "I really like being able to help it out and restore it to what it was like when I was a kid, and pass it on to the future generations-- my daughter and such," said Bartels.

Officials said the volunteer work means a lot to this non-profit.

Playland is expected to open in late April.
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societyplaygroundnon-profitveteransfresnoFresno - Central
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