There’s something going on that the people in and near Santa Clarita Valley need to know about, as it is the very definition of a Great Opportunity! Due to the groundbreaking collaboration between College of the Canyons (COC) and AMS Fulfillment (AMS) there is increasing opportunity for the underserved workforce of individuals who need a good job but may not be experienced or well trained enough to get that job.
Late in 2016 SCV News reported on an innovative apprenticeship program that will offer students the opportunity to earn while they learn. In the news report, COC announced their partnership program with AMS, beginning in January 2017, in which 13 apprenticeships in warehousing and shipping would be offered. This innovative program is the first of its kind in California between a college and an employer.
Recently the collaboration took another step ahead. Fifty top educators from around the state were invited to attend a contract education conference at COC in order to discuss how community colleges can provide customized training for local companies. The group included representatives from Goodwill Southern California and representatives from the California Chancellors Office in Sacramento. The highlight of the conference was a tour of the AMS educational facility, led by AMS CEO, Ken Wiseman.
Wiseman introduced the educators to the classroom space at AMS, dedicated several years ago, and he gave a presentation on the successful efforts of AMS to utilize this educational space in cooperation with COC. He then responded to questions from around the state regarding AMS’ efforts to recruit and employ individuals from underserved populations and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Those in attendance were greatly impressed by the learning center, enjoying the quotes written on a wall by AMS employees who have benefitted from the educational programs. One of the attendees stated they had never seen a company, such as AMS, that provides workplace opportunities to those in need. During the event, Wiseman was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from COC for his support of the AMS/COC apprenticeship program.
One of the many beneficial conversations for Wiseman was with the head of Goodwill Southern California. They discussed additional partnership opportunities that will enable AMS to expand the promise of employment to additional underserved populations. Regarding the event and the opportunities being created, Wiseman said, “What people need to know is that someone believes in them. We do, and hopefully this program will help our apprentices believe in themselves.
Adrineh Terantonians, Director of Workforce & Career Development Operations at Goodwill, expressed enthusiasm about the opportunities ahead: “It was my honor and privilege to visit such an extraordinary organization and we are looking forward to working with them moving forward and celebrating their achievements.”
Terantonians went on the praise the AMS leadership: “AMS Fulfillment leaders Ken Wiseman and Jay Catlin are Champions of Change, as John Maxwell said ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership.’ AMS Fulfillment is empowering their employees, recognizing their efforts and truly enabling them by providing all the resources for advancement.”
The apprenticeship collaboration between AMS and COC is celebrated as a groundbreaking and successful effort, offering hope of many more partnerships in the future. The intention of the individuals involved has been clear and praiseworthy: to serve the community by offering both employment and job-related education.
Jeffrey Forrest, VP of Economic and Workforce Development at COC, sums it up well: “Ken Wiseman and the wonderful employees at AMS Fulfillment embody the true meaning of diversity, equity and inclusion. College of the Canyons is proud to serve as a partner with AMS Fulfillment in creating opportunities for members of the community, regardless of background. We salute the entire AMS Fulfillment family for their generosity, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”