General Atomics aerial image of the Torrey Pines campus

General Atomics' Torrey Pines campus.

Preparing students with apprenticeships

September 1, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

General Atomics partnership with City College helps build long term success.

San Diego City College has worked with its corporate partners in establishing 21 apprenticeship programs aimed at meeting employer needs and preparing students for in-demand jobs, including an apprenticeship program at General Atomics initiated in fall 2019. Since then, two City College students have taken part in the learn-while-you-earn program, working at General Atomics while taking classes. Brandon Thomas, the Program Manager for the General Atomics Facilities Operations & Services Apprenticeship Program, recently answered a few questions about the partnership with City College.

Q. Can you tell us a little about the new apprenticeship program?
A. Our General Atomics Facilities Operations & Services team partnered with San Diego City College to establish an apprenticeship program within our organization after identifying four key trades beneficial to our long term success. Our program consists of HVAC-R Specialist, Electrical Specialist, CNC Mechanic, and Plumbing Specialist programs. Each program requires a minimum of four years of education and on-the-job-training working on trade specific projects throughout our facilities.

Q. What are the outcomes General Atomics hopes to achieve through the program?
A. By starting their careers with General Atomics, we will build a sustainable facilities organization by having employees learn and work on our facilities building a legacy of highly skilled and deeply knowledgeable tradespeople. We are encouraged by how our employees have thrived both in the classroom and on-the-job.

Q. Why City College?
A. The San Diego Community College District has a record of proven success in apprenticeship programs in industries similar to ours. Their administrative staff have years of experience working with each stakeholder and their instructors are exceptional in their abilities to connect with our apprentices.


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