The AMS Fulfillment and College of the Canyons (COC) apprenticeship program was recently featured in the annual publication, produced by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). CAEL is a national nonprofit that works at all levels within the higher education, public and private sectors to make it easier for people to get the education and training they need.
Jeffrey Forrest, VP of Economic and Workforce Development, College of the Canyons, authored the article, featuring the story of AMS Associate, Ana Rodriguez. The intention of the publication, and of the author, was to provide expert insight into best practices, research and thought leadership on trends in education and the workforce.
The Apprenticeship Program began being developed in 2015 as a unique, first of its kind in the US, collaboration undertaken by COC, AMS Fulfillment and Goodwill Southern California. The following quoted text gives a picture of just a few of the innovations that make this collaboration a model for other companies:
“In an effort to deliver on the promise of a college education—and provide job skills for adult learners like Ana—College of the Canyons, Goodwill Southern California, and AMS Fulfillment have created an apprenticeship program. The program provides customized instruction and on-the-job training to 18 adults from underserved populations in Santa Clarita, California. This partnership between higher education, a workforce intermediary, and a local employer is unique in the following ways:
“1. The instruction is held at the company’s location. This option allows the apprentices to attend classes without having to leave the workplace. Not only is this a convenient alternative for the students, it allows the college to be more engaged with the company. AMS Fulfillment dedicated a portion of its facility to the construction of a world-class learning center, equipped with computers, whiteboards, and projectors. The learning center can seat up to 60 students.
“2. Flexible schedule. The courses are offered in the evenings from 6:00pm—8:30pm, Monday through Thursday. The length of the courses is usually 12 weeks.
“3. No tuition cost to the apprentice or company. The apprenticeship is funded through the California Apprenticeship Initiative New and Innovative Grant Program. The grant covers teacher’s salaries as well as other costs associated with taking classes (such as uniforms, tools, etc.).
“4. Mobile enrollment. Practically all of the apprentices at AMS Fulfillment are adults who have not been to school in many years. As a result, they may be intimidated by the prospect of going to a college to register for classes. To address this challenge, an enrollment team from College of the Canyons goes to AMS Fulfillment to assist the apprentices in becoming students of the College. The process includes advising, assessment, and enrollment. This feature has been a critical component to the education process.”
We are grateful to Jeffrey Forrest and CAEL for shining a spotlight on advances in workforce development and we are quite proud that AMS is on the forefront as a leader in this field.
Ken Wiseman, CEO of AMS, announced several weeks ago that there is more good workforce news to come, as a new Pre-Apprentice Program will soon be funded. Ken said, “This program is designed for employees struggling to get themselves established in the job market. We are trying to help these pre-apprentice candidates get their hands firmly around the first rung of the employment ladder, and empower them to start their climb.”
Readers are encouraged to download the attached PDF of the CAEL publication, especially those who are committed to workforce development. The article not only tells Ana’s story, it goes into detail with regard to the collaboration and the structure of this exciting new approach to apprenticeship.