Published : Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 4:56 PM
Last Thursday, February 9, twenty three formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted men and women graduated from Flintridge Center’s Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP). Flintridge Center is a nonprofit organization that has been in the Pasadena community for more than 30 years, and works to reduce recidivism and community violence by providing reintegration services.
The Apprenticeship Preparation Program is a comprehensive employment development program that provides participants a pathway to union construction careers. Unions offer competitive wages, health and retirement benefits, and do not discriminate based upon an individual’s background. Formerly incarcerated individuals face overwhelming barriers to successfully reintegrating into their communities, particularly in finding sustainable employment. Unemployment is the biggest factor impacting recidivism, and over 40% of those released from California’s prison system return within three years. The APP is Flintridge Center’s answer to these challenges. The program includes a nationally-recognized union training course, case management, employment development, and life skills development. Graduates receive a union-issued pre-apprenticeship certificate that gives them a leg up when applying to join unions.
The graduation ceremony included speeches from Pasadena City Councilmember John J. Kennedy, Pasadena Police Department Chief Phillip L. Sanchez, and recent program graduates. Graduate Louis Ortiz said, “This is the beginning of the second part of the journey. I will continue to move forward.” Graduate Mike Brown told the audience “It’s more than just a dream coming true. It’s life coming true.”
Flintridge offers the Apprenticeship Preparation Program three times per year. A new semester starts next month.
For more information about Flintridge Center visit www.flintridge.org or call (626) 449-0839, ext 114.