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A Retraining Program for Displaced Engineers

October 04, 1992

In his column "For a New Approach, Maybe We Should Look Into the Past" (Sept. 13), James Flanigan cites Democratic candidate Bill Clinton's proposal to set up technical centers to, among other things, "work on new ideas . . . for retraining skilled people now being downsized out of defense jobs."

This work has been going on in Los Angeles for several months now. On Aug. 31, 1992, a group of former aerospace, defense, and other displaced engineers began an intensive 14-week skills conversion program entitled E3, Environmental Engineering for Engineers. Upon completion of the program, the participants will be qualified for employment in this growing field that is concentrated in California.

The program was developed by the Los Angeles County Private Industry Council and the National Society of Professional Engineers using a national NSPE-led skills conversion program from the 1970s as a model.

The program content was developed by, and is supported by, a consortium of local environmental engineering firms, including Jacobs Engineering, Pasadena. The specific course content has been coordinated by Mike Pirbazari, who is associate director of the Environmental Engineering Program at USC.

The instructors are from the schools of engineering at USC and UCLA, the supporting firms and various regulatory agencies.

JAMES P. KELLY

Los Angeles

The writer is vice president of the Los Angeles/Pasadena chapter of the California Society of Professional Engineers.

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