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
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.
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.