PHOTO RELEASE: High-Speed Rail Authority Recognizes 11th Cohort to Complete Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program

December 29, 2023

SELMA, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority is ending the year by recognizing 25 students who have completed the Central Valley Training Center’s 12-week, pre-apprenticeship program located in the city of Selma. This is the second largest cohort to graduate from the program, with a total of 176 students completing the program to date.

A group of people in personal protective equipment, including yellow safety vests and hard hats pose in front of a screen that says Central Valley Training Center.Open image above for larger version.

The pre-apprenticeship training program is aimed at serving veterans, at-risk young adults, minority, and low-income populations in the Central Valley. The no-cost program provides hands-on construction industry training for those looking to work on the nation’s first high-speed rail project. Since the start of the program in 2020, more than 1,000 individuals have inquired about the program.

“These men and women who come through the program have the opportunity to earn excellent pay upon entry into the apprenticeship of their choice,” said Chuck Riojas, Executive Director for the Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings Building Trades Council. “As the high-speed rail program advances, the need for a trained workforce will continue to grow, which means good-paying construction jobs for the men and women of the Central Valley.”

At the Central Valley Training Center, students learn about more than 10 different construction trades from journeyman-level experts. Students exit the program with more than a dozen industry-specific certifications and are provided with job placement assistance for a year after graduation.

The Central Valley Training Center is a project of the Authority in partnership with the city of Selma, Fresno Economic Development Corporation, the Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare Building Trades Council, and the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.

To learn more about the Central Valley Training Center, visit:

The Authority is closing out 2023 with historic progress, having been recently awarded nearly $3.1 billion in Federal-State Partnership grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It’s the largest award of federal funds the project has ever received and is critical to advancing Merced-Bakersfield inaugural passenger service by the end of the decade.

In the last 12 months, the Authority has showed continued progress statewide. In 2023, 10 structures were completed along the first 119 miles of construction and environmental progress has continued with 422 of the 500-mile project now environmentally cleared. In the spring, the Authority crossed a major labor milestone, marking more than 10,000 labor jobs created, and this fall, entered into a major agreement with 13 rail labor unions for operation of the system. Procurements have advanced for trainsets procurement in August and design of track and systems in November.

With the southernmost 22-mile stretch of active construction currently on the verge of completion, the Authority continues advanced design work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. The high-speed rail project has created more than 12,000 good-paying jobs since the start of construction, 70% of those going to Central Valley residents.

For more information on construction, visit:

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings:

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


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