In 2016, The Swinerton Foundation partnered with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)’s Career Technical Trades and Apprenticeships department to develop a construction club at Oakland High School as part of our Adopt-a-School program. The program aims to improve vocational education in underserved schools and encourage youth to pursue careers in construction.

Last month, OUSD held their first-ever Skilled Trades Career Fair for East Bay high school students at Cypress Mandela Training Center, volunteers were there to talk about construction and offer a hands-on drywall demonstration to the attendees. Over 160 students were present throughout the day–cycling through multiple event stations and learning about the different construction trades, as well as general contracting. Emiliano Sanchez, director of career technical trades and apprenticeships for OUSD, said, “Your support demonstrates your ongoing dedication to our youth and genuine desire to introduce the students to the lucrative careers in construction and provide options for our youth.” Cypress Mandela was also impressed with our commitment to education. They even asked if they could keep the prop used during the demonstration!

A big thank you goes to Jason Morris, John Grego, Diego Quezada, and Meredith Racy for a fantastic presentation at the Career Fair. Additional thanks to the other Adopt-a-School program volunteers, including: Zach Satt, Genevieve Harder, and Matt Berriatua.