SMC — Santa Monica College, in collaboration with the California Works Alliance, will officially launch its new recycling and resource management job-training program on Wednesday.

Dubbed “Jobs Through Recycling,” the program — which provides job training in the high-growth, high-demand field of resource management — began earlier this month with its first group of 100 students. By June, those students will be awarded industry certificates in recycling and resource management from the California Resource Recovery Association, a partner in the California Works Alliance.

On Wednesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates will be the featured speaker for the kickoff.

“Jobs Through Recycling” is funded by a $4.87 million Community-Based Job Training Grant awarded last year by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for SMC to work with some of the nation’s most experienced and passionate leaders in the field of zero waste in creating a highly skilled and prepared workforce in resource management,” said Genevieve Bertone, SMC’s sustainability coordination project manager.

Bertone said the program will train and certify 660 students in the field of recycling and resource management and will place more than 400 highly skilled professionals in green jobs with upward mobility.

She noted that the recycling industry is as large as the automobile industry in America, and that 25 percent of all green jobs in California are in recycling. In addition, she said, research has shown that for every 10,000 tons of solid waste going to landfills, one job is created. That same amount of waste — if diverted from landfills — can create four composting jobs, 10 recycling jobs, and 75 reuse-materials jobs, she said.

Oates, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of SMC’s program, will give the keynote address at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Recycling Organization of North America’s National Conference, which SMC is hosting. Her address will be given at SMC’s Theatre Arts Main Stage on the main campus, 1900 Pico Blvd. It will be followed by an 11 a.m. informal ceremony to be held in front of SMC’s worm composting facility outside the Student Cafeteria.

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