California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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Wo r k l e t e , w h i c h d e v e l o p e d c u s t o m training to reduce workplace injuries and certifies students who complete the training. Worklete teaches the proper way to per form industr y-specific job functions, such as opening and closing a big rig's hood, entering and exiting the cab, pulling the fifth wheel release han- dle, and more. Career opportunities "When students complete the program, they can choose how they want to obtain their behind-the-wheel training," Dein say s. " Th ey can opt for free trainin g with Morning Star Trucking or enroll in the district's adult education program, where the district contracts with a local truck-driving school." Morning Star trains with automatic transmission trucks, so students receive a restricted license. But they're guaran- teed seasonal employment during the summer and can earn up to $12,000 in three months. "It's a great opportunity for students who are planning for college to earn money for tuition," Dein says. While trucking companies often have m i n i m u m a g e re q u i re m e n t s d u e t o insurance mandates, the Patterson High program secured agreements with local companies to hire drivers at the age of 18. Many industry partners have pledged to provide mentoring and on-the-job expe- rience for program graduates in such areas as warehousing and yard shuttling, so when students do reach a company's minimum age requirement to drive, they have a wealth of additional skills. " This [program] has inf luenced me to want to get my Class A license and drive," says student Steven Smith. "The opportunities from this are huge. We have many good jobs lined up, and free schooling. This gives us the opportunity to have a career." A Place for Women, Too Leilani Barradas and Cheyenne Barfield attend Patterson High School, where Barradas, a senior, is the first female enrolled in the school's trucking program; Barfield, a junior enrolled in the school's Supply Chain and Logistics Management class, will join the trucking program next year. The young women's passion for trucking is definitely not the norm in the industry, where the Bureau of Labor Statistics esti- mates that 6 percent of the commercial truck driver workforce is made up of females — up by only 1 percent since 2008. "It takes great courage and grit to choose to be the first at anything, and I have utmost respect for Leilani to pursue a career in this male-dominated industry," says Patterson High program coordinator and instructor Dave Dein. "I will do every- thing I can to support her." He is equally excited that Barfield is looking at trucking as a career path, saying it will provide her the financial stability, adventure and challenge she is looking for. Dein understands the importance of supporting these and other young women who choose trucking as a career. "If we expect to see any significant change in the number of women Students Leilani Barradas and Cheyenne Barfield learn logistics, warehouse management, forklift operation and finance, as well as how to drive a long-haul truck. 50 Teaching & Learning

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