WHITTIER – Los Angeles County Supervisor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will discuss how the regional workforce needs to evolve on Friday, Nov. 13 during an education program dedicated to connecting adults with careers in the trades.

The Workforce Development Conference will run from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Rio Hondo College, 2600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. It will be followed by a regional Trades Night from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Both events will be hosted by the Rio Hondo Region Adult Education Consortium.

The conference will bring together educators, counselors and administrators from adult schools and high school career/tech programs with workforce development service providers, large employers and labor to discuss ways to develop pathways for adults into trade apprenticeships and internships.

“This conference is a chance for us to find out how to better prepare our adult learners for careers in the trades,” said Deborah Kerr, principal of the El Monte-Rosemead Adult School and a member of the consortium. “The new Adult Education Block Grants have created a huge opportunity for the adult schools to partner with all the other players to create pre-apprenticeship programs.”

The Trades Night is designed to raise awareness of careers in the trades and resources available to adult learners – especially under-represented populations such as women, veterans and recent immigrants. It will feature hands-on activities, demonstrations and information booths about apprenticeship programs, industry internships, adult schools and regional workforce development services.

Also on hand will be food trucks, a free ice-cream bar and giveaways sponsored by the Consortium.

“Careers in the trades are not getting the attention they deserve,” said Chris Guptill, Rio Hondo College’s Director of Continuing Education. “These are good, well-paying careers that are available to everyone. Construction, utilities, entertainment and logistics are incredibly important to Southern California’s economy.”
Consortium members attending include Tri-Cities Regional Occupational Program, Rio Hondo College, Bassett Unified, El Rancho Unified, El Monte City, Whittier Union High and Rosemead school districts. Additional participants include the L.A. County Office of Education, Hacienda-La Puente Adult School, America’s Job Center of California (SASSFA) and the L.A. County Workforce Development Board.

For more information or press materials, contact David Robkin at bambam6@earthlink.net.

Located in Whittier, California, Rio Hondo College is a founding member of the Rio Hondo Region Adult Education Consortium – the leader for adult education in the San Gabriel Valley. For information on the College or its programs, call (562) 692-0921 or visit www.riohondo.edu.