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Program Design & Delivery

Los Angeles Trade Technical College Trains Disadvantaged Workers to Meet Industry Need

When it comes to developing new green job training programs and re-engineering traditional education curricula to promote sustainability, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) is a national leader in innovation and response to industry demand—earning the national Energy Star Award for Education form the President’s Roundtable in 2010. Beyond offering high-quality programs in the solar, electrical, hydropower, construction, and other cutting-edge sectors, LATTC delivers critical support services for a diverse student body that includes many disadvantaged students typical of a major urban area.

With an enrollment of 30,000, LATTC serves a very diverse set of students. More than 80% of the students are minorities, and many of them have significant challenges. Half of them have not completed high school or received a GED, half live at or below 150% of the poverty level, and 65% are non-native English speakers. Many sectors of the growing southern California green economy provide perfect employment opportunities for this student base.

To prepare its students for green economy careers, LATTC has connected its existing and new technical programs with robust campus support services while embedding clear career pathways for graduates.

Groundbreaking Training Programs

Focusing on entry-level occupations for lower-skilled students, LATTC offers a series of preparatory academies (from one to 12 weeks) designed to reinforce adult basic skills in the context of specific green occupations. The Utilities and Construction Prep Program, for example, uses utilities-specific content to teach basic math and English skills along with work readiness and financial literacy. LATTC conducts broad outreach to recruit disconnected adults for the academies, provides intensive support services to increase their likelihood of program completion, and connects successful academy students with local jobs, internships, or certificate or degree programs.

The Female Line Workers Program is a cohort-based, five-week intensive program to train women in non-traditional building trades, where entry-level union jobs pay $16–$20 per hour. The program builds the strength and climbing ability to meet the physical requirements these occupations demand—for example, climbing and servicing a 30-foot-high utility pole. Trainees in these jobs can advance through apprenticeships within 6 to 18 months.

The “Bridges to Success” program provides robust college readiness support and an introduction to student success resources as well as an intensive Math/English Prep “Boot Camp.”

Click here for a list of LATTC’s short-term training programs in areas such as hybrid vehicle technology, sustainable land use, solar energy, and energy auditing; and longer-term certification and degree programs in subjects such as the chemical technology certificate and the associate degree in renewable energy with emphases in solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, and energy efficiency.

Regional Industry Sector Engagement and Partnerships

Key to the success of LATTC’s wraparound service initiatives, are its front-end regional and industry partnership development efforts. LATTC’s Regional Economic Development Institute was given regional and statewide responsibilities to act as the “intermediary” for the Los Angeles Infrastructure and Sustainable Jobs Collaborative. In this key role, LATTC facilitates partnerships between major energy companies, labor unions, community-based organizations, the K–12 education system, government entities, and other higher education institutions to connect low-income populations to education opportunities and jobs with clear clean energy career pathways.

As a result, LATTC has spearheaded an array of consortia agreements and led the creation of an industry sector strategic plan to achieve a seamless education and workforce training infrastructure for the entire Los Angeles region’s K–16 system. Over the past several years, LATTC has engaged in more than 20 federal, state, and foundation grant-funded workforce development programs totaling more than $40 million.

These partnerships have also led to successes beyond the leveraging of funds. Regional workforce boards have provided critical marketing outreach for their training programs, labor unions have worked with LATTC to design comprehensive and complementary training initiatives, and regional industry representatives have become employed as adjunct faculty.

To learn more about the LATTC model, check out the following links and contacts for program information and curriculum design:

Links and Contacts

Marcy Drummond, Vice President, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Leticia Barajas, Dean, Academic Affairs, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

This resource made possible with the generous support from the Kresge Foundation