A welder at work on the USS Billings. Navy photo

Biomedical, engineering and drone technicians are just a few of the programs that the Technology Career Institute at MiraCosta College will offer free for Spring 2023.

Oceanside residents are eligible for the free classes – they include brewing, electronic assembly, machinist technology, welding and phlebotomy – thanks to  Hire Local, an initiative designed to stimulate the economy by linking local residents and businesses.

The program combines Incentives, Development, Education, and Access (IDEA) to help bridge the gap between in-demand jobs and workers who are prepared to fill them. Hire Local is federal-grant funded.

MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke called the institute a place where residents can receive rapid training in “technical, collaborative, critical thinking and other essential abilities for high-demand, high-skilled jobs.”

Research shows that bridging the economic gap – more acute for various groups that may face barriers to training and employment opportunities, such as veterans, alternative high school graduates, non-traditional learners, and unemployed and underemployed workers – is more likely with access to education and employment.

MiraCosta’s spring semester starts Jan. 23.

In 2020, Oceanside officials conducted a needs assessment with local businesses and discovered a set of high-demand jobs that had been hard to fill. Workers, the employers said, were not ready on day one, and conducting on-the-job training slowed productivity.

“We see this as a win-win because it helps our residents find meaningful careers while creating a talent pipeline for our businesses, so they can stay here and grow here,” said Michelle Gellar, Oceanside’s economic development manager.

Officials said that the program is also there to help people who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“MiraCosta College is dedicated to supporting our local businesses during a post-pandemic workforce crisis,” said Linda Kurokawa, executive director for the institute.

The accelerated work skills programs can be completed in less than one semester and students are provided paid internships after completion.

All residents are eligible as long as they meet the criteria. To learn more, see the Hire Local site. For more information, contact Brent Bjorndal at the institute, (760) 795-6593.