Students to learn maritime painting on the waterfront

ALAMEDA -- Representatives from College of Alameda and Bay Ship & Yacht say they will encourage veterans, people who used to be homeless, and people on probation to enroll in a jobs skills class they are launching this fall on the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.

The class, which will be open to anyone wishing to hone their skills or anyone who wants a job along the waterfront, will teach students maritime painting.

"There's a big demand for painters and other workers, and we are regularly hiring," said the shipyard's Chris Rochette, who helped develop the class. "But we also hope to eventually expand the class to teach welding and other skills."

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The on-site class will be limited to 25 students and will take place four days a week over one month. Tuition will be $112, and financial aid will be available for eligible students.

Students who complete the course will get two units of credit that are transferable to the California State University system.

"We are beyond excited about this partnership," said Char Perlas, the dean of workforce development and applied sciences at College of Alameda.

Those who traditionally have a difficult time finding work, such as those with criminal records, will be encouraged to enroll in the class, officially called AUTOB 49, Perlas said.

"They are the people we are targeting," she said.

LaDonna Harris, Alameda County's chief probation officer, said many of the cases her department handles involve people who have "tremendous baggage" as they se....

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