Alberto Arellano is in his first semester of the Fresno City College’s nursing program.
The 33-year-old Fresno resident recently went back to school to pursue a nursing career for his future leaving behind 15 years of being a mechanic.
“I just want to help,” said Arellano of switching career paths. “I’m going to help people.”
And thanks to a new major state allocation to Fresno City College’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, students like Arellano would be able to reach their career goals.
The $1 million funding, secured by Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arámbula, D-Fresno, would be helping to broaden job training and career opportunities in the Central Valley.
“We got them a million dollars to help both with their health career workforce and automotive fields,” Arámbula said adding that his sister is a nurse and his uncle is a mechanic. “I think it’s important to support our blue-collar work force.”
Arámbula said the $1 million that taxpayers paid will return to the community and be invested in education. “This would help transform and make sure that tomorrow’s jobs are being met by what we have here in our Valley,” Arámbula said.
This is the second time that Arámbula has successfully obtained state funds for the college’s CTE program in two years.
“This new amount will augment the $1 million that I fought for and presented last year to FCC and support the college’s aim to expand its job training program,” Arámbula said. “Specifically, this new allocation will be used at FCC’s planned West Fresno campus to buy equipment for an automotive technology program and a pre-nursing program.”
“Through these offerings, FCC is supporting vital efforts to develop and increase our region’s workforce by creating opportunities for young students and returning students, which helps strengthen the Central Valley’s economic growth and future,” he said.
Arámbula presented the check on Aug. 16 to college president Dr. Carole Goldsmith at the nursing skill lab inside the Health Sciences building.
“We are truly grateful that Dr. Arámbula continues to support our efforts to transform the lives of our community, especially for those in West Fresno,” Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith said as community college, FCC doesn’t get its fare-share of funding and this $1 million will go a long way to be able to buy needed supplies for two programs.
“This new funding means that there will be more support for the instructional equipment needs of those future students of the West Fresno Center,” she said.
Goldsmith said FCC has the largest nursing program in the state and will be expanding the future nursing program to 20 students each term as they go through West Fresno.
“Those are life changing opportunities. Our nursing program is 400 strong, our automotive program is also several hundred students,” Goldsmith said, adding that those are not just individual students, but families. “The impact is huge.”
“Dr. Arámbula shares our vision of increasing opportunity for the citizens of Fresno that will ultimately benefit the entire city with more medical personnel, advanced automotive technicians and a better trained, educated work force,” Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith is hopeful to break ground for the West Fresno campus in 2021-22.