CARLSBAD: Kelly Elementary hero construction workers get scholarships

Kelly Construction workers receiving information on CSLS Programs

Five men working at Kelly during shooting to get $1,000 for classes

By STACY BRANDT – [email protected] | Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2011 6:00 am

The construction workers who tackled a gunman at Kelly Elementary School in October will be able to further their own education soon with some help from a statewide contractors training program.

Contractors State License Services, a private vocational school, has offered the men —- Mario Contreras, Steven Kane, Carlos Partida, Toby Wiest and Edward Dominguez —- free tuition and materials for one of its courses, up to $1,000.

Most of the men said they want to study to get a state contractors license and the scholarship would cover the cost of that course, or another course offered by the school.

The men, who work for San Diego-based Randall Construction, said the offer was appreciated, especially because they haven’t had steady work since the job at Kelly Elementary ended in October. Becoming licensed contractors will help them get more work or branch out on their own, they said.

The class to prepare them for taking the contractors test can take anywhere from six weeks to four months to finish, depending on how quickly they do the work.

In the end, the school will help them get their license, set up a business name and help process paperwork, said Alex Avelar, state license consultant for the Van Nuys-based school.

The five men were pouring concrete at the school the day 41-year-old Brendan O’Rourke allegedly opened fire on children in the playground. Contreras and Kane chased after the gunman on foot while Partida clipped him with his truck.

Kane returned to work the same day with Dominguez and Wiest, while Partida and Contreras took a few days off. Partida said he wanted to collect his thoughts before returning to work, and Contreras was nursing his hand, which he broke during the scuffle.

The school offered the scholarships to reward the workers for their heroism, said Cyndi Beaver, marketing coordinator at the school.

“It was an opportunity for us to kind of give back,” she said.

O’Rourke allegedly shot two second-grade girls in the arm before the men chased him out of the playground. Both children recovered and returned to school quickly, school officials said.

Kane said he was overwhelmed initially by all of the attention the men got after the incident, but now it feels as if it happened long ago. More importantly, he said, he’s thankful that nobody was more seriously hurt.

Call staff writer Stacy Brandt at 760-901-4009 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              760-901-4009      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.