Center for Employment Training
The Center for Employment Training is a non-profit organization that trains people for jobs in three useful, growing fields: building maintenance, automated office skills and shipping and receiving.
“Eighty percent of our training is hands-on,” says Michael O’Massey, director of C.E.T.
The 28,000 square-foot warehouse where training is held is impressive. In addition to a reception area, one room is designated as the area for office skills training. These skills, including typing, filing and training in Microsoft office environment, help people learn enough skills to earn a certificate from C.E.T. to get an entry-level position or higher.
Occupational objectives include clerk-typist, receptionist, secretary and word processor.
The warehouse itself is expansive, set up with several different training areas for those learning building maintenance, including carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical skills. A pretend house is built from the floor up by the trainees. They learn how to put the studs in the walls, how to lace the electrical cords through those studs, how to cover the studs with dry wall, and how to finish the dry wall.
O’Massey, who says everything is taught and built to code, says once a wall is finished, an instructor might take a hammer to it and pound a hole in it in order to teach the trainees how to repair a wall.
Once the interior is finished, trainees learn how to finish the outside of a house, including the roof.
Occupational objectives for this training may include plumber helper, pipe installer, carpenter, electrician helper and building maintenance repairperson.
Also in the warehouse is a mini-shipping and receiving area where trainees learn to drive a forklift and handle items on pallets. Loads of goods are dropped off on the warehouse and trainees learn how to barcode and sort the goods.
Sometimes hands-on learning projects are real: trainees currently enrolled at C.E.T. are learning to build a handicapped ramp at the C.E.T. warehouse this week. Occupational objectives include routing clerk, shipping and receiving clerk, delivery driver, inventory clerk, material expediter, among others.
The Center for Employment Training, which opened in 1987, also has an on-site G.E.D. program as well as offering English as a Second Language classes. The original C.E.T. opened in 1967 in East San Jose, Calif.
O’Massey says volunteers are welcome to call C.E.T. and offer services in training. Donations of supplies, including building supplies, paint, tools and anything relevant to teaching the three specialties C.E.T. offers are welcome.