San Diego Tribune Reports on CSLS Scholarship for local heroes

Free tuition offered to Kelly school heroes

By Aaron Burgin

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 6:13 p.m.

SAN MARCOS — The Kelly Elementary School construction-worker heroes are going back to school, and the school is picking up the tab.

Carlos Partida, Eddie Dominguez, Steven Kane, Mario Contreras and Toby Wiest helped subdue Brendan Liam O’Rourke, who is accused of opening fire at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad in October, wounding two second-grade girls. The workers chased after him after he stopped to reload. Partida knocked him to the ground with a truck and helped hold him until police arrived.

Contreras suffered a broken hand when he punched O’Rourke.

Van Nuys-based Contractors State License Services, a private vocational school in San Marcos, is giving $1,000 scholarships to each man. The scholarships will pay for the workers to take one course, such as for contractor’s license examination preparation, blue print reading or contract estimating.

The school stepped in to offer the scholarships after learning about the heroics displayed by the workers, which garnered national attention. Days before the shooting, the school offered Victor Perez, a Fresno construction worker who rescued an 8-year-old girl who had been kidnapped, a similar scholarship.

“We were kind of on a hero thing,” Cyndi Beaver, the school’s marketing coordinator, said Thursday during a ceremony. “We just wanted to acknowledge our heroes in the construction industry.”

The timing of the scholarships couldn’t have been better, the men said. They are all currently unemployed. For most of them, the contract at Kelly Elementary, a renovation of the school’s kitchen, was their last job.

“We’re looking,” Partida said. “There’s just not much out there right now.”

Four of the five men said they would use the scholarship to get their Class B state contractor’s license, which would enable them to find more work or potentially start a business themselves.

The men say they have been overwhelmed by the adulation they have received.

“We still get the ‘you’re a hero’ response,” Kane said. “It’s been really nice.”

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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.