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Apprentices, academics make it work

ABC, San Diego Community College District partnership provides lifetime of dividends

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Community colleges provide anyone with the desire and drive with the opportunity to achieve their own American Dream through higher education. President Barack Obama understands the critical role that community colleges play in getting our economy back on track, praising the nation’s community colleges for the increasingly vital role they play in creating an educated, competitive American work force.

The benefits of a community college education are also available to trainees and apprentices participating in Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego Apprenticeship Training Trust programs. Thanks to a unique partnership between ABC and the San Diego Community College District, students can earn significant credit toward an associate’s degree through supplemental classroom instruction specific to their hands-on training programs in various construction trades. Completion of remaining general education courses, plus electives, allows many ABC apprentices to graduate with their degree at the same time they earn their journeyman certificates.

“Apprentices need education in math and science to work with measurements and calculations,” said ABC Training Trust Chairman Matt Harbin. “They need to be able to read complex instructions, codes and industry procedures, and have a grasp of computer skills. They also need to be able to work through problems at job sites. The education provided through the ABC partnership with City College is invaluable to trainees and apprentices in advancing their career path long term.”

Skilled-trades students have actually surpassed academic students on technical reading comprehension tests, due to the precise and specific outcome demands of working with technical reading requirements such as blueprints, building codes and industry standards and procedures.

Apprentices in skilled trades can take advantage of community college scholarships that offer up to $1,200 in financial aid, making higher education affordable and practical. Most of the grants offer money to be used for educational expenses such as tuition, books, tools and other school-related costs.

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