The first cohort of Flintridge Center’s Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP) to complete the program since the onset of the pandemic graduated this Thursday.
The APP has prepared formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted community members for careers in union construction trades for 13 years, pausing for the first time due to COVID-19. As the pandemic continued and individuals needed opportunities more urgently than ever before, Flintridge Center staff resumed a hybridized model of the program in June with adjustments to preserve health of participants and staff.
At this time, Flintridge Center’s APP was one of the only operating programs offering a Building Trades approved curriculum in Los Angeles County. For participants, this presented an unprecedented opportunity to enter in-demand careers as union hiring has continued amidst the crisis.
“You all were one of the first programs to figure this out,” Isaac Lopez from the Apprenticeship Readiness Fund of the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council shared at the graduation. “You guys pushed through it, you showed that something is possible. It’s not an exaggeration to say you all put your lives at risk to show up here.”
The APP combines workforce development and skills-building with trauma-informed care to support participants facing multiple barriers. With social distancing and sanitization measures in place, the class of seven completed 10 weeks of the Multi Craft Core Curriculum (a building-trades approved pre-apprenticeship course), trauma-informed life-skills with 2nd Call, employment development, physical fitness and more.
Graduate and Pasadena resident Reginald Beasley was working at the Rose Bowl until he was laid off due to the pandemic. “Since I’ve been in class, I’ve learned a lot. It’s given me a positive mind frame, and not wanting to go back to doing things I was doing that weren’t good. The best thing about it is learning how I can better myself.” After graduating the program, Beasley plans on joining the laborers union.
About Flintridge Center
Flintridge Center’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence through community planning, innovation and action. Flintridge Center works to interrupt cycles of violence and poverty through reintegration programs for formerly incarcerated and gang-impacted adults, and youth development programs for youth who are at risk of falling into the justice system.