Published April 3, 2023

To the Shasta College Community:

Spring break is the week after next – already!  This term seems to be flying by.  I hope everyone gets a bit of relaxing and renewal time in so we can be refreshed in serving our students through the end of the semester.

Success Stories
It was fun to give the welcome last Friday to the N.E.W. event.  This is the 12th year of welcoming students from area high schools to campus to explore Non-traditional Employment for Women. Many thanks to our EWD division for carrying on this tradition started by our very own Eva Jimenez.  Also, thank you to our faculty in the various areas the students explored (such as industrial technology, CIS, heavy equipment, AOJ and Fire).

I enjoyed seeing Becky Roe and Angela Cordell cited in a recent publicity piece by California Forward – see Showcasing The Culture, Economy And Innovations In California’s North State

California forward is a state-wide 501(c)3 organization focused on bringing people together to improve government and create inclusive, sustainable growth for everyone (see for more information on them). The CRAFT (California Registered Apprenticeship Forest Training) partnership was highlighted in this article - see Well done Angela and Becky!

And for some business updates…
I am excited to share some updates on a partnership that we are building with Cal Fire.  Some background is that Cal Fire has been funded to expand its workforce by the State in order to better combat the growing wildfires plaguing us. If we try to change our mindset and think big picture, we know that we are having many millions of acres burning and devastating our wildlands and some of our communities more regularly than any time in the past. If we ask ourselves questions like “How can Shasta College be a part of making a difference in dealing with these fires?,” then we may realize it is only through partnerships that we can leverage our assets to help make a real difference.  I now have two examples I can point to where we are doing this.  First is the expansion of our training programs around forest management, logging, and the like (see the article above from California Forward) where we are helping train a much needed workforce to combat the problems practically. The second now is the new partnership with Cal Fire.

What is the new partnership?  Cal Fire approached us and asked if there was any way we could accommodate their using our fire training grounds and other facilities to help them put on additional fire trainings for employees they are hiring. Their facilities in Ione and Riverside cannot accommodate their requirements to bring on additional firefighters. We started trying to get creative to help make this possible.  Surely, with so much of our offerings remaining on-line and with good coordination with our Fire Academy staff, we could come up with a way to partner, we thought. So over the past few months we have been working to make this happen. The goal is to be able to host up to 48 people on-site and provide office space and a classroom so they can run their trainings. We are vacating the 5000 building in order to accommodate their needs in the short term for office space, and plan to install the donated modular from the local Courts near the old racquet ball courts for their longer term use.  Note that this location was identified a while back as where a future development could go (perhaps new dorms) – see the May 2018 amendment #1 to the 2014 Facilities Master Plan at the following link  Additionally, the 2021 Landscape Master Plan (see confirms the sites identified for any tree mitigations that may need to occur as the result of the plans outlined in Amendment 1 to the FMP.  I should recognize all the staff and faculty involved in reviewing these plans in detail – but will simply point out that many are listed in the inside cover of the Landscape Master Plan.

So where we are in this partnership is that we are expecting the first group of Cal Fire trainees to start in early May.  They will live off-site until we are able to convert the old racquet ball courts (that were being used mainly for storage) into appropriate housing (this project is currently going through the Division of State Architects).  Then they will lease that building from us for housing students and they will contract with Food Services to feed them three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Cal Fire will use the 5000 building for now, until we can get the donated modular up and running for them.  Our Fire Academy will be working closely to coordinate use of the Regional Public Safety Training Grounds (RPSTG) with Cal Fire. Additionally, we expect that some improvements to the RPSTG will be able to be done as Cal Fire will be requesting us to expand some of the props and facilities there to meet their needs.  The lease will provide funds to improve our facilities.  And most importantly – we will be providing space for training nearly 400 Cal Fire employees a year for the foreseeable future and helping make an impact to the entire state in combating the escalation in fires we are all experiencing. By using a few acres on our campus for this purpose, we will be helping save tens of thousands of acres (or more) of our beloved wildlands around the state.   I am so proud of our staff and faculty for helping make this happen.

OK – that was a lot of information, but it is really fun to be able to share it with you. I wish you a pleasant spring break and once again want to thank you for all you do to make a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our communities. 

Joe Wyse
Shasta College
11555 Old Oregon Trail
PO Box 496006
Redding, CA 96049-6006
Ph: 530-242-7510