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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chris Bender, Southwestern College
(619) 482 – 6564


Partnership Will Help Prepare Students for Long-Term Naval Maintenance Careers

CHULA VISTA, CA – Southwestern College today announced a major new partnership with the U.S. Navy and Department of Labor to train students for long-term, well-paying careers in ship maintenance and repair. The new program is the only of its kind in California and open to anyone interested in becoming part of the Navy’s civilian workforce.

“Our students want an education that translates into a career. With this new partnership, they have yet another way to get it,” Dr. Raj K. Chopra, Superintendent/President of Southwestern College, said. “Working with our federal partners, Southwestern College is proud to offer diverse learning opportunities to our students and community.”

The program, called the Southwest Regional Apprenticeship Program, is based at the Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. It includes academic and trade-based training, and provides its graduates U.S. Navy and Department of Labor Journeyworker certifications and a Certificate of Proficiency from Southwestern College. The classroom instruction includes three years of academics, including English, science, math, computer skills and leadership development. The trade-based training prepares students for a long-term career as a sheet metal mechanic, ship fitter, marine pipefitter, temporary service pipefitter, machinist, marine machinery mechanic and lifting and handling mechanics (rigger). Additional trades, including electrical, are planned for future years.

As part of the Apprenticeship Program, the federal government pays tuition and fees, leaving the student responsible for books and materials. Students also receive pay and benefits with periodic raises while attending classes. On completion of the program, students gain federal appointment as career conditional employees with competitive salaries and benefits. Graduates tend to remain in the communities in which they were educated.

Today’s news continues the College’s recent trend of giving students skills which quickly translate into careers. In July, the College announced $127,985 in new federal funding for its Clean Energy Workforce Training Program and its Green Building Pre-Apprenticeship Program, both designed to prepare individuals for jobs in San Diego’s energy efficiency and green building industries. The College also announced five new certificate programs in Automotive, Event Planning, Landscape Construction, Recording Arts and Web Design. The programs are designed to give students an understanding of entrepreneurship and small business management, including development, planning, organization and operations.

About Southwestern College

Fully accredited since 1964, Southwestern College is the only institute of higher education in southern San Diego County and is the primary source of higher education for approximately 400,000 residents of communities including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado. The College serves approximately 20,000 students each semester and offers more than 285 associate degree and certificate options.

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