Wonderful Career Center grows its robust training offerings for students and professionals

New apprentice program helps individuals grow their skills and overcome generational poverty

The Wonderful Career Center (WCC) at the Wonderful Industrial Park in Shafter, California, aims to prepare and place local students, professionals, and Wonderful Education alumni for employment at the Wonderful Industrial Park, The Wonderful Company and its businesses, and other leading companies located throughout the Central Valley region.  

What sets the WCC apart is its unique apprenticeship and technical course programs. WCC first opened with theTechnical Opportunity Program (TOP), a customizable technical training program where trainees can learn foundational technical concepts in English or Spanish.

In May 2023, WCC announced its partnership with Bakersfield College to launch the Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship (MTA) program, providing students hands-on training and invaluable skills to prepare them for successful careers in the industrial automation industry.

With a goal of training 100 apprentices by 2026, this 12-month paid program combines hands-on training atone of the center’s employer partners with four Bakersfield College-accredited courses taught by the in-house subject matter experts at WCC. These courses cover mechanical systems, basic electronics, electrical motors and controls, and occupational safety, and can be applied toward an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in industrial automation.

As of 2024, thirteen aspiring maintenance technicians are currently in the program, which starts at an hourly rate of $19.80 and will continue to increase as they successfully complete their coursework. The MTA participants receive hands-on training at Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds and attend courses at WCC throughout the year.

In fall 2023, WCC launched anew Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) program to introduce participants to foundational safety requirements and certify them in proper equipment usage, loading/unloading, and transferring loads. Local companies participating in PIT include Wonderful Citrus and Wonderful Industrial Park tenant, American Tire.

To learn more about the programs offered at WCC, interested individuals can visit wonderfulcareercenter.com.

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