Senator McGuire and Mendocino College Announce $1 Million Grant to Expand Construction Program and to Assist in Fire Rebuild

January 31, 2020

Mendocino College to expand existing construction trades program to help with fire rebuild in Lake and Mendocino counties

For years, Senator Mike McGuire, who represents both the County of Lake and the County of Mendocino, has been working to secure funding to help meet workforce needs that will aid in the rebuilding of these communities.

Today, Senator McGuire and Mendocino College announced that $1 million has been secured to expand the College’s construction career program. The expansion dollars will be focused on recruiting additional students into the program in both Lake and Mendocino counties, which will expand the construction workforce, grow business partnerships, hire additional faculty, and purchase needed equipment.

“Mendocino College is thrilled to expand its critical role in supporting the region’s economic development. This significant investment for fire recovery construction training spearheaded by Senator McGuire for Mendocino and Lake Counties will provide tremendous support for our communities’ recovery by addressing the labor shortage and preparing our Sustainable Construction and Energy Technology students for improved earnings and living wage attainment. This funding will serve as a catapult to a more robust, self-sufficient and continuously evolving construction program,” said Eileen Cichocki, Mendocino College Interim Superintendent/President.

The fires throughout Northern California have been unprecedented in size and scope. Because construction workers could make more money rebuilding homes in Sonoma and Napa Counties, many skilled workers traveled south and west, which left an even greater shortage in both Mendocino and Lake Counties.

“The fires over the last five years have greatly exacerbated the labor shortages Mendocino and Lake Counties have traditionally witnessed in the construction trades. Today’s investment will be a shot in the arm for the local economy, but more importantly, an opportunity to provide young people with the tools they need for a construction career and a family sustaining wage,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We’re grateful to partner with the College on this potentially life changing program.”

Mendocino College looks forward to beginning work immediately on the expansion of its Sustainable Construction and Energy Technology program. The $1 million investment will allow the college to increase its current enrollment in the program by approximately 40 percent. Historically, 75 percent of students who participate in a career education program such as the construction program at Mendocino College will either gain employment or increase wages in the field of study within six months of completion. To learn more about the Sustainable Construction and Energy Technology program at Mendocino College, visit: https://www.mendocino.edu/sct