November 21, 1992
By Yolanda Reyolds
San Jose’s Center For Employment Training (CET) is a destination for important dignitaries from government and business as well as for as for visitors from foreign countries.
In mid-October, CET was host to 15 officials from across the United States and a number of foreign countries who were here for a three day training session for job training specialists. The guests were from as far away as Australia and as close as Oakland, California.
The CET guests were present at a luncheon Oct. 15. At the luncheon, the Chairman of CET’s Industrial Advisory Board, Charlie Harris, was honored for his faithful and long-time contributions to CET.
Harris, now retired from IBM received special commendations, not only from the CET family, but from the Mayor of San Jose, The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, The California State Assembly, the California State Senate and from the California Governor’ Office.
The ceremony was attended by a number of local dignitaries, such as California Assemblyman Dominic Cortese, San Jose Councilman Jim Beall and other ofﬁcials representing the California Senate and the Governor’s ofﬁce.
The role of industry in the development of CET’s training program has been one of the elements that has made the programs offered at CET so important to local business interests and invaluable in the students.
Lining the dining room walls were pictures of CET graduates, accompanied with a short biograpy and personal account telling how much the opportunity to complete a CET training program meant to them.
For many, it meant becoming independent of State welfare, for others, better paying jobs or the opportunity to seek higher education that was related to the entry level through their training at CET.
CET is noted for limiting its training programs to occupations in which the worker will receive benefits and more than a minimum hourly wage.
CET is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. Even more importantly, CET was found to be the most effective a such programs in the country after an exhaustive nationwide comparative study of other training programs.
CET is now an internationally recognized center for the training of job trainers. CET hosted a second group of 50 guests at the end of October in another training session.
This past Monday, CET entertained another entourage of very important guests. Nevada Governor, Bob Miller, and Las Vegas Mayor, Jan Laverty Jones, along with a number of Nevada industry leaders flew by private jet to San Jose to visit CET headquarters on Vine Street. They have stated their intentions to establish a similar program in the Las Vegas area.
Currently in Nevada, there is a very small CET training program at Reno. The Director of that center, Marcel Schaerer accompanied the Governor for the visit.
Following the Los Angeles riots, and the subsequent civil disturbances in Las Vegas business leaders in Las Vegas and Nevada government official are seeking ways to address the growing training needs of that community while simultaneously meeting industry’s growing need for employees.
Along with the Mayor was Robert Maxey, President and CEO of MGM Grand Inc., a company building a new hotel in Las Vegas. When the hotel is completed early in 1994 it will be the largest hotel in the nation with 5000 guest rooms, a sports arena, and a theme park Maxey says that the hotel, MGM Hotel and Grand Theme Park, will employ 7500 people.
The governor said that does not have money in his budget to establish the training program but indicated that Maxey and his ﬁrm wanted to begin a program. Maxey indicated that his company is committed to donate $1 million to help set up a program like CET.
La Oferta asked if his example had inspired other business to do likewise. Maxey responded that there were ﬁrm commitments from other business interests and that “money was no problem.”
From those comments, it seems very likely that Las Vegas will shortly have its own program. With such a large enterprise as MGM Grand, many highly skilled job opportunities will become available. A program like CET is ideal for training workers for such a business. CET, in San Jose, offers training in culinary arts, printing, computer repair and carpentry, among other skills; all integrated with language and computational skill training.
Governor Miller explained that Las Vegas has experienced a great inﬂux of people from California who are in need of retraining, as well as Las Vegas residents who are unemployed or have only part time work who need the education and training to help develop skills that will enable them to qualify for year-round jobs.
The Nevadan’s visit to CET and the day they spent at the Center indicates a commitment to addressing the employment needs of their citizens.
Governor Miller explained that he has already established a five-member Board, representative of the community, to begin the work necessary to establish a program in Las Vegas.
Also on the visit was Sammie Armstrong, an African American businessman. His bus company, Ray and Ross, based in Las Vegas, provides vacation tours, between Southern California and Las Vegas, as well as extended tours to other western state vacation spots.
CET will be celebrating is 25th Anniversary on Saturday, February 27 199. The special attractions will be very the very highly regarded musical group, Los Lobos, and the popular comedian and stage personality, Paul Rodriguez.
For more information on the anniversary celebration contact Dan Alfaro at (408) 287-4940. © La Oferta Newspaper.