LAVC Advanced Manufacturing graduates at their March 20, 2019 culmination ceremony
Students from the El Proyecto Del Barrio YouthSource Center and South Los Angeles WorkSource Center comprised the majority of the 20 graduates at the Los Angeles Valley College Advanced Manufacturing Academy culmination ceremony on March 20, 2019.

Now in its 13th year, about 50 percent of participants are between the ages of 18 to 29, and the program has a job placement rate between 85 and 95 percent, depending on the cohort, said Roberto Gutierrez, program manager of the LAVC Workforce Training Program.

Students that graduate from the program are trained to become Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operators, a highly specialized position where trainees handle computer-programmed machinery that perform functions such as drilling, cutting or shaping materials. Entry-level wages begin at minimum wage up and go up to $18 per hour, depending on previous work experience and the size of the company.

The valedictorian of the class recently started a job as a maintenance mechanic at MS Aerospace in Sylmar, where he will earn $24 dollars an hour, Roberto said.

“The career ladder is healthy with opportunities in CNC set up, programming, inspection and machine maintenance,” Roberto said.

Graduate Chris Newton expressed gratitude to the El Proyecto YouthSource staff for providing access to resources that helped him cover the cost of his classes and navigate a career pathway that did not involve college.

“Taking this class was my education for me,” he said. Chris was also offered a job after graduation. He will be deburring and sanding rough edges of parts at a small precision machining and manufacturing company in Van Nuys.

Learn about the various programs and benefits offered through EWDD Employment Services and WorkSource Centers.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of April 1, 2019. Read this issue and more.