MISSION COLLEGE TRAINING
WINS PRAISE FOR INNOVATION
A Los Angeles Mission College program that provides welfare recipients
and low-income people with employable office skills has been singled out
for its success in placing low-income people in jobs.
The Clerical Office Assistant Training Program run by Mission College
has been praised for its "
innovative approach to occupational
education" by the California Community College Association for Occupational
Education. The CCCAOE has nominated the program for its outstanding workforce
The training program is in the second year of a two-year, $600,000 grant
awarded to Mission College by the California Community Colleges Economic
Development Program. The program goal is to train individuals who are
receiving public assistance or living below the poverty level in the skills
that will qualify them to work as clerical assistants or other office
positions in which they can earn a living wage.
To date, the program has trained 150 students in clerical assistance jobs.
About half have been placed in placed in jobs where they are earning $10
an hour or more, plus benefits, according to Susan Rhi-Kleinert, program
director. Others have used the program as a stepping-stone to educational
"Weve seen many of the participants pass their GEDs (high school
equivalency exam), or enroll in courses at Mission College," said
Rhi-Kleinert. "Most of them have raised their English and math skills
to new levels."
About 20 participants undergo training sessions lasting 11 weeks. The
students receive classroom instruction in computer and office skills,
office practices, business English and math, phone skills and customer
service. Instructors with the Los Angeles Unified School District provide
a partner in the grant much of the training.
With funding due to expire this summer, Rhi-Kleinert hopes to continue
the training through partnerships with private employers who have hired
graduates of the program.
The California Community College Administrators of Occupational Education
is a statewide organization of educators, deans and administrators of
vocational education and workforce programs. CCCAOE will honor the Mission
College program at its statewide meeting in March.
The Clerical Office Assistant Program received recognition late last year
from the Los Angeles Community College District as an outstanding workforce
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