The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) has recognized BYD-SMART Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) that includes Antelope Valley College as an Apprenticeship Ambassador for its support in promoting, expanding, and diversifying registered apprenticeship.
Electric bus manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams), the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) Local 105, and Antelope Valley College partnered in 2018 to develop the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship (IMTA) program, a three-semester for-credit certificate program that affords selected BYD employees the opportunity to earn union journeyman status with the union. Apprentices represent a diverse population including formerly incarcerated and/or justice-involved and women, as well a wide range of ages and ethnicities.
Interim Dean Cathy Hart, along with the help of CTE division faculty, worked with the union to get the program approved by the Chancellor’s office and registered with both the state and federal governments. With ongoing support from the Palmdale Center staff where classes are held after working hours for the BYD apprentices, the program has already graduated two-cohorts with a third starting its second semester this Fall.
This is the first time Apprenticeship Ambassadors have been designated by the Department of Labor. Awardees will be welcomed at a kick-off meeting next month in line with the 85th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act. The OA plans to publicize the designation on the Apprenticeship.gov website.