Valley Glen - - With the accent on a successful and rewarding future, 20 participants of the Biotech Bridge Academy received certificates of completion following their four weeks of intensive readiness training. The group, assembled at the Van de Kamp Innovation Center in Los Angeles, also received plaudits from the audience of more than 50 that included representatives from Baxter Healthcare Corporation; Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC); Community Career Development, Inc. (CCD); and the Employment Development Department (EDD).
Speaking before the group, LAVC President Dr. Sue Carleo acknowledged the hard work of all the parties, consolidating them into three groups: the willingness of the graduates to learn, the employer’s commitment to the program, and the college’s dedication to education.
Results of the 150-hour Academy were evident, especially in the areas of English and Math. Heavily charted, the study revealed that in English, 32 percent improved two grade levels while 21 percent rose one grade level. In math, 16 percent increased three grade levels while 13 percent climbed two grade levels. Job Training Director Lennie Ciufo cited the results as “a natural result of contextualized training.”
One of those receiving certificates was Navy veteran Ron McGee who was honored separately by the Division Chief of the Los Angeles and Ventura Workforce Services Division of the State of California’s Employment Development Department Michael Dolphin. After thanking the group, Mr. McGee proudly announced he would begin employment with Baxter the following Monday, one of ten that had been offered a position with the company. Mr. McGee enjoyed the rare honor of being offered the position prior to the end of training.
The catered event was highly attended by all parties involved in the program. Among those in attendance were co-Directors Dr. Chander Arora and Pamela Byrd-Williams, Career Coach Tony Jaramillo, as well as several instructors and support staff.
The Biotech Academy is a result of funding given by the Department of Labor as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAAACT) training program. The graduating group represented the first of several planned classes that will begin in the near future.
The Graduating Class