For Better Work.
On sprawling, 1,500-acre plot outside of Sacramento sits one of the country’s top construction and operator training centers. Tucked in amongst the endless machinery—and a whole lot of dirt—is the California Operating Engineers Journeymen and Apprentice Training Center (OE3 JATC).
What makes it special (besides its stellar reputation for putting out some of the best operators around) is that this apprentice program employs and trains so many women who’ve been empowered to embark on life-changing careers. Through free, hands-on training, they’re making their mark in a field traditionally labeled “men’s work”—and they’re taking names.
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Cat decided she’d had enough of sitting in a cubicle all day and found the operator apprentice program. After a few years in the field, she’s now a coordinator here, helping others find the same path. Her favorite part of the job is seeing how this program truly changes lives, giving women career opportunities they never thought possible.
As a paver crew operator, Gina’s favorite part about her job is building camaraderie with her a crew and knowing that she’s a part of something bigger than herself. Never is that more apparent to her than when she drives past something and can say, "I built that. And it's going to be there for years and years to come.”
Krystal became an operator a few years back—a choice which follows her father’s footsteps. She wakes up every day excited to find out what she gets to make or build for the day. She knows it’s unusual to have a job where she gets to see the finished project, something which gives her the chance to say, “I was a part of that. I made that happen. People are safe because I built that.”