Fresno EOC's VAC changing lives, assists in new Selma apprenticeship program

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Valley program is creating new paths to help people turn their lives around and launch a new career.

It was just last year that Raul Gonzalez was living homeless on the streets.

"Amid that time of trial and trouble I was going through, there was a team of people who were out asking people if they needed a place to stay," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez found a temporary home at the warming shelter. That's where he first learned of Fresno EOC's Valley Apprenticeship Connection.

"The warming shelter gave me a brand new bicycle to start going to school and a backpack so I could take my books to school, and that's the way I started at the EOC VAC," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez rode his bike to classes each day, making the most of the curriculum that he said changed his mindset.

"I learned to have perseverance and endurance in my life no matter what the obstacle," said Gonzalez.

Now, VAC is expanding its reach thanks to a new partnership with the local Building and Construction Trades Council and Fresno County Economic Development Corporation. They're bringing that curriculum to the new Central Valley Training Center located in Selma.

"We have people that have been homeless, dislocated from work or been laid off, anyone that needs that extra help," said Amalia Martinez with the Valley Apprenticeship Connection.

The program will equip students to work in the nation's first high-speed rail project and for a career in the construction industry.

To learn more about the valley apprenticeship connection and how you can apply visit their website. For more information on the Central Valley Training Center visit their website.
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