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MUSD offers free certified training for veterans
Free forklift training and certification is offered for veterans at the Manteca Education and Training Center, which is part of the Manteca Adult School.

Manteca Unified’s Careers Technical Education is offering free certified training for veterans.

Offered are courses in warehousing logistics, forklift, welding, fabrication and electrician tech, to name a few, promises to be far from that of entry level positions.

“These are trade-based classes that will allow them to enter the workforce earning today’s living wages,” said Manteca Adult School Principal Brad Harrison.

The forklift safety certification series, for example, will be more than just “a one and done” type of training, according to instructor Ryan Costa.

His state-of-the-arts Manteca Education and Training Center – located at the MUSD office complex at 2271 W. Louise Ave. – offers a rigorous 75-hour course for those looking for a career in a warehouse.

Those who previously served in U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guards – receiving a general or honorable discharge is also required, Harrison said – can, at no cost, learn theoretical and extensive hands-on training in counterbalanced sit-down forklift, vertical mast lift “cherry picker” and electric pallet jack.

They’ll also earn OSHA-10 certification.

“We’re offering a very robust training program for those looking to get into the warehouse industry,” said Costa, who reached out to industry leaders in search of what’s lacking in today’s workforce.

He added that veterans interested in furthering their education can use this program as a “bridge” into Delta College.

Another instructor in the program is Vernon ‘Rocky’ Heckel, who served in the military. He has 30 years of warehouse experience and has been with MUSD for the six years including the last three in the CTE program.

Vets can receive electrical and pneumatic skill training necessary for industrial maintenance technology.

Like Heckel, Manteca Adult School Vice Principal Chris Chilles has a military background, having served in the Army.

He’s helped in spearheading the program, reaching out to the various veteran groups and organizations in Manteca-Lathrop, Ripon, and Stockton.

The hope is to provide job training to those previously returning from active duty – the program is flexible enough to work around their work schedule.

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