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Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative

Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative


The Columbia College Apprenticeship Initiative is a grant-funded program that supports the development and implementation of new and innovative apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship models. These programs support the local workforce and provide educational opportunities to current and future Columbia College students.

Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship

Interested in a career in fire fighting? The Fire Science Pre-Apprenticeship is designed to provide an introduction to careers in fire science through hands-on experiences, workshops, field trips, and more. Pre-apprenticeship programs are differentiated from Registered Apprenticeship programs in that they provide a broad based training program in order to prepare participants to apply for admittance to registered apprenticeship programs. Participants in the Pre-Apprenticeship will be well-prepared to apply to the Columbia College Fire Academy, one of the state's top accredited fire academies. Learn more about the Fire Academy here. After completing the academy, they will have the opportunity to apply to Cal-JAC, the state's only registered apprenticeship in fire fighting.

Benefits of Participation

  • Free exploration of careers in fire science 
  • Hands-on experiences with fire fighting tools and equipment
  • Overview of physical fitness requirements
  • Introduction to the behind-the-scenes world of fire-fighting: how to apply for and land an internship, volunteer position, or full-time employment

How to Apply

  • Email bickj@yosemite.edu or calling 209-588-5269 to be put on the wait list for activities that will begin summer 2018.

Apprenticeship Programs

Earn an industry-recognized training certification and go on to earn an Associate Degree with an emphasis in Hospitality Management or Child Development while getting paid to complete on-the-job training. Students have the opportunity to complete related coursework at Columbia College while working as paid apprentices at one of the local approved apprenticeship employers, resulting in a Certified Apprentice certification through the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards as well as Certificates of Achievement and/or Skills Attainment Certificates through Columbia College. Students will be set up for career advancement and/or higher education at Columbia College and beyond.

Benefits of Participation

  • Hands-on, real-world work experience while attending college
  • Paid on-the-job training
  • Tuition balance paid after financial aid eligibility determination
  • Textbooks provided for apprenticeship-specific courses

How to Apply

Child Development

Child Development apprentices are hired at one of our approved placement sites: ATCAA Head Start, Columbia College Child Care Center, Senior Youth Partnership, or The Resource Connection Early Childhood Services. In addition to gaining valuable hands-on experience, apprentices complete coursework in Child Development at Columbia College that align with the California Child Development Permits. Permits are issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and are required to work in a state or federally funded child care center. For more information on permits, visit the CTC website here. For more information on how Columbia College courses align with the Child Development Permit options, visit this link or email hansonk@yosemite.edu

Industry Outlook

The most common career path for graduates of a child development program is child care provider or early educator. Tuolumne County's Resource and Referral Agency, Infant Child Enrichment Services, reports a significant need for child care. Only 29% of children 0-12 with parents in the workforce have access to child care. Preschool teachers, infant/toddler teachers, early education administrators, family child care providers, and special education teachers can expect to see, on average, a 9% increase in job openings in the region in the next 5 years.

Hospitality Management

At this time, all apprentice positions in Hospitality Management have been filled.

Hospitality and culinary arts apprentices are hired by one of our two employer partners, Black Oak Casino Resort or Evergreen Lodge & Rush Creek Lodge. Students have the opportunity to complete a Certificate of Achievement and eventually an Associate of Science degree while working as paid apprentices. Apprentices rotate through different professional areas at the employer site over an 18-24 month period, to receive comprehensive training in a range of positions that could include a combination of front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, beverage management, retail, recreation and several aspects of kitchen and food service. While working, apprentices take industry-related coursework and complete additional general education courses and electives to fulfill requirements for an Associate of Science degree.

Industry Outlook

Hospitality is a predominately people-oriented industry where business success is measured in terms of customer satisfaction, enjoyment and safety. Labor market research shows the tourism and hospitality industry is robust, assuring strong career prospects for years to come. According to Tourism Economics, written by Dean Runyan in 2014, statewide direct travel spending totaled $117.5 billion in 2014, and generated 1,027,000 jobs. Regionally, the Gold Country has an estimated 39,200 travel-related jobs, with 4,400 in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties alone, primarily in food service and lodging. Locally, this project’s two committed employers have more than 1,100 employees, and both have planned major expansions.  

Automotive Technology

At this time, the Apprenticeship Initiative is not accepting apprentices in Automotive Technology. Please contact the Automotive Department directly here. 


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