Modesto Junior College offers two Drought Relief Training programs funded through legislation signed into law in 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown. MJC offers both irrigation technician training and logistics and warehouse technician training at no cost to eligible participants.
The training programs provide skills-training for people whose livelihoods have been affected by the drought to assist their transition into employment in other industries or to learn new skills to promote more effective systems of irrigation.
The Drought Relief Training is a regional initiative involving six colleges that is administered by MJC/Yosemite Community College District . The programs are the result of an agreement signed by the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Employment Training Panel and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office that provides training to workers and employers in the California areas hit hardest by the drought.
The need for these programs continues to grow. With Governor Brown’s announcement on April 1, 2015 of a proposed 25 percent reduction on California’s water supply agencies, new restrictions will be imposed to further reduce water use by homeowners, farms and businesses, including cemeteries and golf courses and other industry maintaining large landscapes.
MJC’s irrigation technician training serves individuals seeking employment as irrigation technicians, farm managers and system operators, and prepares them for the Certified Agriculture Irrigation Specialist test offered by the Irrigation Association.
The first cohort of general irrigation technician participants began in January 2015 by taking a 3-unit class in Irrigation and Drainage (MAGM 235). The second cohort will begin in the fall 2015 semester by enrolling in the MAGM 235 course. The advanced irrigation technician class will be a combination of the two cohorts and that class will begin in January 2016.
The logistics and warehouse technician training is geared toward assisting those who need to train for new employment due to the drought. The program teaches skills needed for employment as warehouse technicians and/or lift truck (forklift) operators, and includes training in sit-down, stand-up and reach lift trucks and safety, inventory control and scan gun use, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Logistics Associate and Certified Logistics Technician, vocational English as a second language, basic computer literacy, basic math, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 and CPR/First Aid certification. Classes are currently being offered weekday afternoons and Saturdays.
For more information regarding MJC’s Drought Relief Training programs, contact Elizabeth Orozco-Wittke (209) 575-6635, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.mjc.edu/instruction/teched/workforcedev/droughtrelief.php
MJC is one of six colleges receiving the drought-aid funding for training. The other participating institutions are College of the Sequoias, with a MSSC Certified Production Technician program; Fresno City College, with forklift operations/warehouse technician program: Merced College, with offerings in water treatment operations and electrical industrial maintenance; Reedley College, offering irrigation evaluation and maintenance technician and food safety technician trainings, and West Hills College-Coalinga, offering the California agriculture irrigation specialist and qualified applicators license trainings.
All training programs offer preparation for industry-recognized certificates. For more information on all the colleges’ drought relief programs, visit http://www.calagcc.org/Drought.php.