The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA), a nonprofit organization of zero waste experts, will hold a ceremony at Santa Monica College Thursday, July 21 honoring graduates of a recycling and resource management job program.

The students involved in the program attended 32 hours of class sessions and completed dynamic, student-led projects under the guidance of sustainability industry experts, an association spokesperson said. These classes were held at Santa Monica College and Irvine Valley College’s ATEP campus in Tustin.

The ceremony for the Los Angeles County area graduates is scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 21 at the Santa Monica College Bundy Campus, 3171 S. Bundy Drive Room 123, Mar Vista. A ceremony for the Orange County area graduates was held July 14.

“I’m thrilled with the success of the program this year. The students who participated worked very hard and learned from leading experts in the fields of recycling, organics and composting, sustainability, zero waste and EPR,” said Judi Gregory, CRRA certification manager.

“Their completion of the program is a great achievement and I look forward to working with these individuals in the future. Many of them have already been successful at finding industry related jobs, but we have more work to do.”

The program is part of a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that was awarded to Santa Monica College last fall. CRRA is one of the primary contractors on the grant team.

“The CRRA industry training has been an integral part of our curriculum development at SMC,” said Genevieve Bertone, director of sustainability at SMC.

“We are delighted to see students taking this first step toward a green career and hope they continue their education in the for-credit certificate program starting this fall at SMC, IVC and GWC.”

Julie Muir, CRRA president, added, “I’m amazed at the growth and advancement of California’s green economy. During difficult economic times, it’s great to know that our training is filling a need both through environmental responsibility and by creating needed jobs.”