Here’s some recent good news: Local businesses are pitching in to help give Humboldt County youth the chance to learn skills that they can use to build a livelihood.

As we reported earlier this week in “Businesses asked to help students bridge ‘skills gap’ ” (Times-Standard, Dec. 9, Page A1), businesses have taken up an invitation from the Humboldt County Office of Education to take vocational education on the road.

Together with the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Humboldt County Workforce Development Board and the College of the Redwoods, participating local businesses are helping give back to their community by offering time and expertise to a mobile lab.

The Office of Education’s Regional Trades Education liaison Jack Sheppard drives the Trades Academy trailer to Humboldt County schools.

The kids get a shot at learning a trade, and local businesses up their chances of one day hiring local youth as older skilled workers who have built lives here in Humboldt County retire.

As Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools Chris Hartley put it: “We want to connect students to life after high school. Whether they go to college or start a career, we want to let the students know what options are available locally. We want to keep our students in Humboldt County.”

Businesses recently participating in the endeavor include DCI Builders and MAPLEService Plumbing and Heating. We urge others to join them.

For more information about the program, contact Jack Sheppard at 707-499-4674 or, or visit

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