Santa Monica, Golden West and Irvine Valley colleges are joining forces with regional human resources centers to prepare Southern Californians for a variety of jobs in the green industry.

The schools have united under the patronage of the California Works Alliance (CWA), a community-based, job-training organization sponsored by the Department of Labor, to create the Green SoCal Jobs program.

“This program is about getting solid knowledge and experience that will put graduates on the path to finding a job that helps both the environment and the economy,” said Laina Long, project manager for CWA.

Students will be provided with the opportunities to develop critical skills and participate in on-the-job training, as the program focuses on recycling, resources management and zero waste planning.

Ken Matsagas, one of 36 graduates from Orange County and a 67-year-old ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, snagged a job with Beach Side Recycling after graduating from the program last April.

“I’ve always considered myself a businessman first and environmentalist … seventh, but the program helped me apply my business experience to recycling and zero waste so they make good business sense,” Matsagas said. “Now I’m starting a new business venture that helps me do what I do best.”

SMC is currently accepting registration for the fall 2012 semester for its Recycling and Resource Management Certificate Program.

To enroll, potential candidates must attend one of many intake sessions, which are being offered during the months of July and August in the Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Intake sessions for SMC have been scheduled for Aug. 1, 7 and 9 at the PACE Westlake WorkSource Center located at 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 900A. Classes will begin Aug. 27 at SMC.

For more information, call (310) 434-3325 or go to


— Sean Fitz-Gerald

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