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Pasadena Residents Eligible for Innovative Fire Camp Program in Los Angeles County

Published on Monday, March 25, 2024 | 6:15 am
 

LA County’s Justice, Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD) celebrated the launch of its innovative Fire Camp Program on Thursday, March 21, at the Los Angeles County Training Center (LACTC) in Calabasas. The program, aimed at preparing transition-aged youth for careers in the fire service, has garnered attention for its unique approach to training and support.

Led by JCOD Director retired Judge Songhai Armstead, the Fire Camp Program has transformed Camp Gonzales, a former juvenile detention center, into a residential job training facility. The inaugural cohort of 21 participants actually began their training on Feb. 4, benefitting from hands-on fire services training, complimentary on-site room and board, life skills training, and a monthly stipend.

“After years of dedicated effort and collaboration with our County partners and community-based organizations, it’s truly rewarding to witness first-hand how what once was a place of confinement and hardships has transformed into a symbol of opportunity and growth,” Judge Armstead said during the launch event. “I’m eager to see the positive impact of this program as it offers our transitional-aged youth a second chance and the skills to succeed in our communities.”

Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, said what was once a probation camp is now “a center for opportunity” where community members will be trained in the fire services industry.

“I am hopeful this space will support the dreams and success of young Angelenos who deserve our investment,” Horvath said.

The program, open to participants aged 18-27 from Pasadena and other Los Angeles jurisdictions, aims to increase employment opportunities among typically disadvantaged populations and reduce recidivism. Graduates will receive support such as career counseling, job placement assistance, and record expungement services, ensuring a smooth transition into the workforce.

Participants will benefit from free residential accommodations, meals, certifications, training and career guidance, setting them on a path toward success in fire services careers. The program’s emphasis on wraparound services and community collaboration underscores its commitment to holistic support for participants.

Those with previous justice system involvement, foster care system impact, and veterans are given priority applications.

For more information and to apply for the program, visit https://jcod.lacounty.gov/lactc.

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