The California State University, Sacramento, College of Education honored two individuals affiliated with the Sacramento County Office of Education at its eleventh annual awards banquet, held April 28 at the CSUS University Union.
Dr. David P. Meaney, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, was presented with the Partnership Award for being "a driving force in the development of an innovative partnership formed in 1994" to benefit students and community alike. That partnership included the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, the Northern California Construction and Training, Inc. (an AFL-CIO affiliate), and La Familia. This interagency partnership developed and implemented a program—the Outreach Construction Technology Program—"that has not only changed the lives of its participants but has also revitalized economically depressed targeted redevelopment zones in the communities of Oak Park, Del Paso Heights and Meadowview."
The Outreach and Construction Technology Program (OCTP) was cited for bringing "education and specific construction job training skills directly to untrained/unemployed students residing in economically depressed neighborhoods. Dr. Meaney provided educational funding resources, curriculum support, and the commitment of the Sacramento County Office of Education," encouraging program partners "to overcome barriers in developing a program that offers students an opportunity to escape the bonds of unemployment and poverty and become contributing members of the community." The OCTP is one of many job training programs offered through the Education Programs Department of the Sacramento County Office of Education.
The tangible results of the OCTP include over 35 homes built from the ground-up in these communities, over 150 students assisted and placed in construction-related careers during a five-year training period, and over half the students completing and obtaining a GED certificate.
The program provides for training stipends, assistance with child care, trade clothing, and related apprenticeship tools. Referral services in the areas of counseling and assistance in overcoming other employment and personal barriers to becoming successful are also available.
William Meehan, President of the Northern California Construction and Training, Inc., and Executive General Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO, received the Partnership Award for providing "much of the leadership for the Outreach Construction Technology Program." Designed to prepare students for careers in construction, the OCTP provides them with the hands-on experience of working on an actual job site constructing homes and receiving classroom instruction. Some of the areas of instruction include Construction Terminology, Measurement, Building Materials, Work Ethics, Technical Reading, Applied Math, and GED Preparation and Testing.
Meehan "was instrumental in setting up a trust fund in concert with the Carpenters union" to pay any expenses incurred by program graduates entering the trade unions. His "innovation and forward thinking brought together several government and private agencies to focus on common issues and goals that benefit the greater Sacramento community." Mr. Meehan's "organizational abilities and his determination to provide a quality education program" were the catalysts that have led to the program's great success. In 1999 the OCTP was selected, from a field of over 200, to receive a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association, and "it continues today as a model being emulated in other neighboring communities in the region."