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ARCO'S NEW SMOGPROS TRAINING COURSE OFFERS STIPEND FOR UNEMPLOYED L.A. RESIDENTS AND GUARANTEED JOBS FOR CERTIFIED GRADUATES

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCO is preparing to graduate its first class of trainees who have completed a new SMOGPROS skills development course designed to help unemployed residents of low-income areas qualify for jobs as smog check technicians. The new training program, created in the spirit of Rebuild L.A., provides participants with a salary, complimentary uniforms and a professional auto repair tool kit -- plus a guaranteed job for those who successfully complete the course and pass a state certification exam.
 The first class of 15 students will finish the six-week training session tomorrow, Jan. 15, 1993. The coursework, conducted at the Abram Friedman Occupational Center in downtown Los Angeles, included classroom and hands-on instruction in basic automotive repair, both basic and computer-controlled diagnostics, and the California "Clean Air Car Course," which is mandated as part of the state's smog technician certification. ARCO instructors designed and taught the curriculum to the trainees, who had been screened and selected for the course by the L.A. Unified School District.
 "We are pleased to be able to offer this program as part of ARCO's overall commitment to help revitalize L.A.," said ARCO Products Co. Vice President Scott Stanworth. ARCO Products Co., which oversees the company's SMOGPROS Express Test and Repair Centers, is the refining and marketing arm of ARCO.
 "We expect to conduct four of these special classes by June 1993, each with 15 trainees," Stanworth said.
 The training program, which represents a $400,000 investment by ARCO Products Co., pays each student an "attendance stipend" of $7 an hour for coming to class eight hours a day, six days a week during the first three weeks of the course. Upon successful completion of the mid-term exam, students receive a pay raise to $8 an hour for the second half of the course.
 In addition to the technical instruction, ARCO offers students a mini-course in job survival skills, supplying practical information on such things as "how to write a resume" and "what is appropriate on-the-job behavior." During the six-week session, ARCO also supplies complimentary SMOGPROS uniforms for the students. And, the company provides each student with a professional automotive repair tool kit worth $3,600, which students may keep if they pass the final certification exam administered by the State of California Bureau of Automotive Repair.
 In addition, ARCO is guaranteeing job placement to those who become certified, either at an ARCO SMOGPROS Express Test & Repair Center or another similar test and repair facility. Toward this end, ARCO will host a job fair for the graduates of the first session on Friday, January 29, at the new ARCO Retail Development Center in Pomona. Company dealers and franchisees from ARCO locations throughout Southern California have been invited to come interview the graduates, and in some cases they will be able to make employment offers on the spot.
 The students also will receive their graduation certificates during a luncheon to be held that same day.
 The second session of the SMOGPROS skills development program is scheduled to begin at the Friedman Center on Feb. 1.
 -0- 1/14/93
 /CONTACT: Annie Reutinger of ARCO Public Affairs, 213-486-3181/


CO: ARCO ST: California IN: OIL SU:

KJ-JB -- LA012 -- 4938 01/14/93 14:01 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1993
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