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Norco College Awarded $815,000 Funding for the “LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network”

Norco College Launch

Launch, The Inland Empire’s Apprenticeship Network, Receives Significant Grant To Strengthen The Workforce

Norco, CA – The James Irvine Foundation awarded the Inland Empire Consortium $815,000 in support of the regional LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network, a growing network of community colleges and high schools, workforce development boards, and industry partners who are committed to taking a system-wide approach in offering apprenticeship opportunities across our region’s institutions and businesses. The mission is to solve the region’s skills gap by streamlining and delivering high quality registered apprenticeships. Led by Norco College Apprenticeship Director Charles Henkels, the goals of the project are to:

  • Establish a user-focused navigable apprenticeship system for businesses, students, and career-seekers
  • Provide access to accredited paid work-based learning opportunities in industry and academia
  • Resolve bureaucratic bottlenecks within the workforce and education systems and integrate services to the region’s population

“Apprenticeship programs lead to higher skills and family supporting wages. Riverside County is fully on board with this and will continue to strengthen and work closely with our Community Colleges and the Building Trades,” said Jamil Dada, chair of the Riverside County Workforce Board and vice president of Investment Services at Provident Bank.

LAUNCH is an acronym that stands for Local Apprenticeships Uniting a Network of Colleges and High schools. The LAUNCH Network partners with the California Apprenticeship Initiative and compliments the state’s financial investment and recent legislation (AB 1809 and AB 235). These bills position California for sustained apprenticeship growth by creating pathways to better integrate apprenticeship education through the community colleges and to create an interagency committee to work with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards on structuring and supporting apprenticeship pathways in professions outside of the building trades.

The LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network was established with the idea that it could provide a current and ready solution to many of today’s hurdles in launching new apprenticeship programs while also remaining forward-focused in developing a more expansive and accessible apprenticeship system to young students and to adult workers.

“Providing opportunities for our students is part of our mission,” said Norco College President Bryan Reece, Ph.D. “I am proud to collaborate and host the LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network at Norco College.”

For more information about LAUNCH, contact Charles Henkels at

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