News & Updates

News & Updates

Biola, Other Rural Communities Benefit from New Programs

Rural Fresno County residents may find an easier path to ValleyBuild training thanks to a variety of supportive services along with a new transportation option in Biola.

The ValleyBuild MC3 (Multi-Core Curriculum) Apprenticeship Readiness training program, which introduces men and women to the construction trades, already offers assistance for students who need help with child care or transportation, for example. Now the program also is connecting to a Fresno County Rural Transit Agency program that helps link the Biola community to metropolitan areas.

While many rural residents often need several support services, “the first thing they always ask about is transportation,” said Ashley Matthews, special projects manager for the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board.

The new Fresno County Rural Transit Agency micro transit program features a Chevy Bolt parked at the Biola Community Services District. The transit agency hired a Biola resident as a dedicated driver and installed a level 2 charging unit at the community services district.

The all-electric passenger vehicle is available to transport nearby residents into metropolitan areas for errands or services such as ValleyBuild classes. ValleyBuild has agreed to buy ride vouchers for area students who need the service to attend Fresno-based training classes.

“Our apprenticeship readiness training program is open to anyone looking for a foothold into a stable, good-paying career that is a ticket to the middle class,” said Chuck Riojas, financial secretary/treasurer of the Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.

“We know some barriers to enrollment – such as transportation – are magnified for folks in rural communities, so we support efforts to overcome those and other obstacles to participation.”