Probation Dept.’s youth pre-apprenticeship program celebrates first graduates

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Probation Department's pre-apprenticeship program celebrates first youth graduates
Photos courtesy of the Contra Costa County Probtation Department.

The Contra Costa County Probation Office recently celebrated the graduation of the first youth cohort in its pre-apprenticeship training program that prepares participants for the construction industry.

The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) curriculum, which has been recognized by the National Building Trades Unions, provided the three new graduates with a certificate indicating apprenticeship readiness during the ceremony at John A. Davis Hall in Martinez on Jun 16, according to County officials. Family, friends and staff attended the ceremony.

“It warmed my heart to see the number of people that showed up,” said Contra Costa County Chief Probation Officer Esa Ehmen-Krause. “I’m sure the graduates were just as surprised to see not only their families but all the staff and partners who really believed in them. I think the more important thing is that they’re starting to really believe in themselves.”

The graduates provided proof of their progress via handcrafted workbenches that lined Davis Hall. The workbenches they built are “a testament to the belief that self-improvement can be achieved by pushing outside your comfort zone,” the County said.

“At first, I wasn’t sure if the program was for me, but the staff was very supportive,” said one graduate. “I now have a new belief in myself, and skills that I can use in the real world.”

The MC3 program arose in the wake of statewide reforms that shifted the responsibility of youth supervision from the Division of Juvenile Justice to local county probation departments, according to the County.