The highly-popular RichmondBuild Academy career training program will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday.
The 12-week program that preps local residents for high-paying jobs in the construction and renewable energy industries was the subject of a lengthy, well-worth watching feature by KTVU Ch. 2 on Thursday.
It was created at a time of high-crime in Richmond as a way to battle poverty and violence with career opportunity.
Of the more than 1,000 graduates to date, a third are from low-income households and a third have a history with law enforcement, the news station reported.
“Nothing stops a bullet like a career… whether in the trades or elsewhere they have a bright future ahead of them,” program director Fred Lucero told KTVU.
Chevron Richmond consistently supports the program. Akeele Carter, who was a single mother when she graduated in 2007, started making $23 an hour in the solar industry after the program. Today, she is the local hire coordinator for the $1 billion Chevron Richmond Refinery modernization project.
“Richmond Build graduates have helped build the new Target store, the Officer Bradley Moody Memorial underpass and Richmond City Hall,” KTVU reported. “They’re currently working on the Chevron Refinery’s modernization project.”
Richmond Build is also a competitive program receiving about 100 per 35 spots in each class and has an 80-percent job placement rate.
On Friday, as part of the 10th anniversary celebration, the Richmond Build program will celebrate the graduation of its 32nd cohort. The graduation will occur from 10 a.m. to noon at the RichmondBuild Academy at 360 27th St.