An unemployed single mother of two children began her path to economic stability and self sufficiency when she enrolled in the Technical Employment Training, Inc. (TET) manufacturing program through the county’s Transitional Assistance Department. Kaela Palomares graduated from the 630-hour training program in January and was immediately hired by Summit Machine in Ontario as a Computerized Numerical Control Operator.
TET is a non-profit 501(c)(3) high technology manufacturing and construction school in San Bernardino City founded by Mike Gallo, CEO and educator Dr. Bill Clarke in 2010 to help rebuild the city’s economy through job placement, and ensure career security and success for high school graduates. The technical school provides recognized industry credentials in both manufacturing and construction with students being employed in companies that are seeking skilled employees.
Success stories abound from the program that provides hands-on machinist skills training and manufacturing trades education to fill in-demand, high-tech positions.
One is Richard Perez, who was unemployed eight years ago and referred to TET through the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board. Upon program completion Perez was hired at Sorenson Engineering where he became a lead supervisor on the second shift in the computerized numerical control department, where he set up and programmed various machine tools.
His passion to give back to the community motivated Perez to work in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Manufacturing) lab at Bing Wong Elementary School as a tech assistant where he would continue to update his skill levels during the day, while working the night shift at Sorenson.
Perez would eventually be hired through the San Bernardino County ROP to become the first TET graduate to become an instructor at TET, located at the Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino.
TET is unique from other trade schools in its 100 percent placement of students, operation of a manufacturing plant that offers real world applications, and role as an active partner with the school district creating industry pathways.
“The training we provide at TET is a sustainable model that provides high-tech training with certification and job placement,” said Clarke, who worked as an engineer for General Dynamics in Pomona and taught at the high school and community college levels for 35 years. “We need to bring manufacturing back and provide 21st-century skills so that displaced workers will transition from dependency to self-sufficiency.”
Clarke added that there is a desperate need for technical teachers in today’s educational system.
“TET’s goal is to not only provide skilled credentialed individuals for today’s manufacturing industry, but to develop a pipeline of skilled teachers for the high demand skills in today’s manufacturing workforce.”
480 students have graduated from TET since 2010.
For more information, call TET at (909) 382-4141, visit www.technicalemploy.org, or email Dr. Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive regular updates, follow TET on Facebook under Technical Employment Training, Inc.