The California Community Colleges, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development Division is proud to announce the formal award of a $500,000 California Apprenticeship Initiative grant to Surplus Service. Surplus Service, an e-waste UpcyclIT® management company is pleased to launch a public-private partnership that will train new logistics, warehousing, and electronic repair apprenticeships for an exceptionally undeserved and high-need population in federal detention facilities.

The Re-Entry Apprenticeships in Logistics (REAL) program is sponsored by Surplus Service, a Fremont-based e-waste UpcyclIT® management company that has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Prisons, Peralta Colleges College of Alameda (CoA), the Transpiration & Logistics Partnership and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce to establish its warehousing operations in two federal facilities with the potential for expansion across the system. This innovative partnership will model apprenticeships in new occupations while equipping participants with the skills, experience, and direct employment connections they need for successful re-entry into their communities.

The California Apprenticeship Initiative is overseen by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, headed by Deputy Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, in collaboration with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. The mission of the CAI is to provide life-changing apprenticeship opportunities to California residents. Apprenticeship programs are the key to growing the ‘middle-skill’ workforce. , Employment types that fall under ‘middle-skill’ are those such as electricians, paralegals, plumbers, and other similar trade-based fields. Jobs in these fields are essential to the upward movement of the economy, yet the number of skilled workers in these areas continues to decline each year. Apprenticeship allows for the growth of these important job skills within the community.

Lou Ramondetta, President of Surplus Service, is committed to providing the San Francisco Bay area with environmentally and socially conscientious e-waste disposal and recycling services. Mr. Ramondetta has over 20 years of experience, nationally and internationally, in medical and electronic waste removal geared towards protecting the health and safety of area residents. In addition to his environmental efforts, Ramondetta is also an advocate for second-chance employment opportunities. The use of apprenticeships allows students to receive on-the-job (paid) and economically relevant skill training in both the practical and theoretical aspects of their chosen occupation.

The REAL program, administered through the Peralta Community College District, is geared at providing apprenticeship opportunities to the highly undeserved population. The program will offer logistics, warehousing, and electronic repair apprenticeships to eligible participants. Release’s are re-imprisoned at incredibly high rates (almost 77% return to the system after 5 years) largely due to their inability to gain employment after leaving prison. The REAL program will expose eligible inmates to trade and skill training that they otherwise may have been unable to obtain due to a lack of resources, information, or funds.

The team at Surplus Service is proud to be the recipient of this award and looks forward to the commencement of the REAL program within California’s prison system. Since its establishment in the early 2000s, Surplus Service has provided the country with much-needed e-waste and medical recycling services and continues to champion for widespread social responsibility. Second-chance programs, such as REAL, give community members an opportunity to contribute to society in a positive way.

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