Monrovia Community Adult School (MCAS) hosted an Open House on Friday, May 13 to celebrate its partnership with the LA County Workforce Development Board (County WDB) America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) system. City Councilmembers Larry Spicer and Becky Shevlin, MUSD School Board Members Traci Gholar and Jennifer Anderson, Representatives from Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office and Senator Anthony Portantino’s office, local businesses, and other dignitaries were in attendance.
However, the stars of the Open House were the MCAS students who gave heartfelt accounts of their training and employment successes.
Throughout California, AJCCs provide employment and training services under the authority of the California Workforce Development Board (CAWDB) which is responsible for “performing the duties and responsibilities required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA),” according to the CAWDB website.
Using WIOA funds, the County WDB AJCC system provides career education, training programs, and support services so job seekers ﬁnd life sustaining jobs.
Monrovia Community Adult School has partnered with numerous County WDB AJCCs to provide substantial financial aid to its students. In the last four Program Years, County WDB AJCCs have provided approximately $1 million in tuition for MCAS students to complete Career Technical Education (CTE) training programs. Enrolling in MCAS training programs at no cost allowed students to earn a license or certification to start a new career without going into debt.
A dozen MCAS certified nursing, pharmacy technician, and medical assisting students shared emotional accounts of how MCAS no cost training programs changed their lives.
“Monrovia Community Adult School helped me earn the license to get paid for work I had already been doing for my father and grandmother when they were sick,” Cassandra Ramos, an MCAS Nurse Assistant Training Program student, told Open House attendees. Ms. Ramos had her training paid for by AJCC classroom training funds. “The training and incredible support from school staff were exactly what I needed to be successful,” Ms. Ramos added.
Olga Bedoya, an immigrant from Columbia, received training funds from a pilot grant to help English Learners. “My teacher and my counselor pushed me and said I could finish, even though I thought it was impossible because my English is not very good,” Ms. Bedoya said. “Now I am a private caretaker and I love my job.”
“Hearing the students and their stories was very emotional and powerful for all of us there,” says Council Member Larry Spicer. “By the time the students were finished talking to us, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”
One recent development that has strengthened the partnership between MCAS and the County WDB was the City of Monrovia moving into the County WDB service area. The City of Monrovia submitted a Local Area Modification (LAM) application last year to move the City into the County WDB Local Area. The application was approved unanimously by the California Workforce Development Board (CA WDB) on Feb. 23.
“Listening to those students, I knew the City had made the right choice moving to the County,” says Mr. Spicer. “All of our hard work to move to the County was worth it because many more students like these will get help with their training,” he added.