Bakersfield College and the Wonderful Career Center Launch New Paid Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program

college graduates holding school pennants

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Training 100 apprentices by 2026, MTA provides free specialized training, college credit, and paid employment at leading companies at the Wonderful Industrial Park and throughout the region.

Bakersfield College (BC) and the Wonderful Career Center (WCC) at the Wonderful Industrial Park in Shafter, California, are pleased to announce their partnership in launching the Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship (MTA) program. This program aims to train 100 apprentices by 2026, providing students with hands-on training and invaluable skills in the field of maintenance technology to prepare them for successful careers in the industrial automation industry.

The MTA program is a result of the collaboration between BC, known for its commitment to academic excellence and career-focused education, and the WCC, whose focus is to train and place local students, professionals, and Wonderful Education alumni for employment at the Wonderful Industrial Park, The Wonderful Company, and other companies in the region.

Now accepting applications for its inaugural cohort, the MTA program will offer aspiring maintenance technicians a comprehensive curriculum that combines textbook knowledge with hands-on experience in industrial automation. Apprentices will be hired through employer partners at the onset of the program at a minimum hourly rate of $19.80, to learn from industry experts and gain insights into the latest technologies and best practices. Through classroom instruction, lab work, and on-the-job learning, apprentices will develop proficiency in a wide range of skills.

Community members are invited to learn about the innovative services and amenities offered by the WCC during an open house at the Wonderful Industrial Park on 7th Standard Road on Thursday, June 8, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

This event will provide an exclusive showcase of the WCC's training programs that can help community members launch their careers in industrial automation, including the MTA program, the Technical Operator Program (TOP), and Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) University.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Wonderful Career Center to bring this exciting opportunity to our students,” said Anthony Cordova, dean of instruction at Bakersfield College. “The Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship program will equip individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the maintenance industry, addressing the growing demand for skilled technicians in our region.”

Once accepted, apprentices will be hired through an employer partner, such as Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, a brand in The Wonderful Company's portfolio. Classroom and lab instruction will be conducted at the WCC, on-the-job training will be conducted at the respective employer's location, and the apprentice will also earn college credit from BC.

“We are honored to join forces with Bakersfield College. Together, we stand united in our unwavering commitment to empower the Central Valley community through training and skilled job placement opportunities. Our shared goal is to cultivate career growth and uplift individuals, enabling them to create a lasting impact within our esteemed Wonderful Career Center and the broader community,” said Kenny Spratt, director of talent partnerships for corporate social responsibility at The Wonderful Company. “We invite you to join us at the Wonderful Career Center open house on June 8 to discover the incredible services and amenities available to the community.”

To qualify for candidacy, applicants must be 18 years of age or older and hold a high school diploma or GED. Additional criteria and prerequisites may apply depending on organizational policies and role requirements. During the program, employers may receive reimbursement of up to 50 percent of their apprentice's wages, subject to specific requirements and funding models. To learn more, interested individuals should visit Wonderful's online training page.