MCOE Education Spotlight: Program helping people without college degrees find careers

Thursday, March 10, 2022
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One program in the North Valley is helping folks find meaningful careers without a college degree. Landon Burke learned about the Adult ROP.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In ABC30's segment, Education Spotlight, Action News Anchor Landon Burke will talk with Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) officials about some of the biggest topics in education.

One program in the North Valley is helping folks find meaningful careers without a college degree. Landon Burke learned about the Adult ROP.

Landon: Mary, let's get started. What is the Adult ROP?

Mary Whited: So Adult ROP serves participants 18 and over, looking for short-term technical education to scale so that they can get promoted in a position they are currently in. Or most likely, it's because they need to be retrained or trained for a new job to get them employed.

Landon: So tell me about the training that they'll undergo.

Mary: So we have several full-time daily programs including automotive, accounting, computerized office construction, culinary and our culinary program focuses on adults with disabilities and youth offenders. And then we have early education, which is a growing field, especially in California medical assisting and medical office. And then we have some part-time night classes for those that may be working during the day and can't take the training. We have logistics and warehousing where students can receive OSHA 10 and forklift certifications. And then we also have a program if you want to upgrade your skills and receive certificates in computer applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel.

Landon: So it sounds like there's a lot of different options and different avenues for training. So if someone wants to get involved, Mary, what's the best way for them to go about that?

Mary: So a lot of our programs are referral base through community partners such as work net Merced, Merced County Human Services Agency, Department of Rehab, and our own Empower program, which serves youth between 16, out of school youth between 16 and 24 that are is looking for training or different career paths. And then we do have some through our gateway adult education network that we own that is open to the public. As long as you're 18 and over, you can take the classes, and those classes include our construction program, our Early Ed program, logistics and warehouse and our culinary program. We had our first graduation for students who had just completed the MC three pre-apprenticeship construction program, and this was a partnership between Merced County and Fresno County Workforce Development Boards and everyone in the San Joaquin Building Trades Council in the Valley Building Trades Council through Valley builds. And this program gives participants a leg up and understanding the crafts, gaining safety certificates, and preparing for a successful apprenticeship where the graduates can get paid as they trained in a specific union. So our next cohort starts in early April. So we look forward to training the next group of industry professionals.