Valley's Career and Technical
Program Wins Top Honor

Kudos from LACCD for Workforce Development

By Jacqui Brown
Valley Star Staff Writer

May 19 , 2004 -- Valley College's Career and Technical workforce program received top honors at the Los Angeles Community College District's fourth annual Excellence in Workforce Development Awards on April 29.

The nine-campus competition, held at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, judged each nominated program in nine general categories, from integration of academic and technical skills to most promising new workforce development program.

Valley's Lennie Ciufo, director of the job training program that has won numerous awards throughout the last six years, took the top honor for Outstanding Collaboration with Business and Industry and the program was judged best overall for its employee-driven customized training and placement program with Superior Super Warehouse in North Hollywood.

"I think one of the reasons we won is due to the number of employee's we've placed in these full time/full benefits positions," said Ciufo. "What makes this program unique is the trust we've built throughout the years with this employer. That allowed us to hire all [154] of the new employees for [Superior's] new site."

Take The First Step, an innovative marketing and recruitment campaign earned the title in Best Marketing and Recruitment for Vocational/Technical career programs. Under the direction of Tech Prep director John Burke, this outreach program is available to students from grade nine through 14 and is goal-oriented, allowing students to pursue careers in fire technology, accounting, engineering and justice/law.

"We had 19 high school academies with more than 1,000 students graduate from these programs," said Burke. "Bringing high school students to a campus like Valley as early as grade nine takes the fear out of the college experience and starts them on the road to fulfilling the academic requirements they need for specific careers. The key to success is early training and one of our goals is to improve academic achievement when these kids are still in high school."

Nomination for State of the Art Curriculum and Competencies was Annie Reed's Professional Paralegal Academy, which lost to Pierce College's Smog Check II Technician Training but not their Mule Trainer's Certificate. Reed's program is offered twice a year as a certified non-credit program through extension and is limited to 25 students per term to ensure that every student enrolled receive personal attention.

Community colleges are constantly developing new occupational programs to keep up with the rapid and constant economic and technological changes.

© 2004 Valley Star