FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson just awarded $245 million towards developing career technical education and ROP programs across the state. Some of the money will be heading to the Central Valley.
At Clovis East High School, students race the clock to put on emergency firefighting gear. The drill is one of numerous hands-on exercises that gives the students a taste of what it'd be like to be a firefighter. Senteno Aguerria, a junior at Clovis East, says "Firefighting isn't easy. I think people tend to think it is. This is really eye-opening and it really brings this job to life in a way."
The firefighter ROP program is one of many Central Valley career pathways that will get a financial boost thanks to the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant. Officials say in the next three years, the program will distribute $900 million to career readiness programs. Fresno County is getting $3.6 million. Janet Sloan with the Fresno County Office of Education says, "When they leave school it's not just about academics and getting into college. It's about truly having a passion."
The grant will help officials create a career sequence - or a greater connection between their career pathway in high school and the certifications they need to get them into their career or post-secondary education. Officials and students hope the grant will even let them purchase some new equipment to help them expand their skills. Randy Finrock, ROP Instructor, says " I think it would be put to great use. We could use it here tremendously. As of now, we've relied on a lot of donations."
Finrock says some of the students in the program know they want to be a firefighter, others aren't sure. Either way, the course is good for the students to figure out on their own.