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Job training program builds leg for student

March 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Joe Quattrochi is learning to walk again nine months after losing his right leg.

The prosthetic leg he is using is one he helped design and build in a classroom.

Quattrochi, of Fontana, took that first step by enrolling in Technical Employment Training in San Bernardino this past July.

The program is aimed at helping the under and unemployed gain skills in high-tech manufacturing.

After learning Quattrochi needed a new leg, his classmates pulled together to create one.

Many of the students who helped Quttrochi have gone on to find jobs themselves.

"The students that have graduated and are now working are able feed their families and basically they're productive in society," said Dr. Bill Clark, director of operations at TTE.

But the funding source for the program is in jeopardy.

The skills taught at TTE are possible through Workforce Investment Act funds, which the federal government is eyeing to eliminate as possible cuts to balance its budget.

The federal government needs to cut $100 billion dollars, money that will be taken away from local workforce investment centers.

"It has been the funding that has come strictly from the workforce investment training that has enabled us to put these students through training," said Sandy Harmsen of the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County.

Quattrochi is one of those students.

He is learning computer aided design and is hoping to help other amputees.

"We still have a lot of work to do in tweaking the design and the socket," he said. "We'll get that accomplished in the couple weeks to come and hopefully I'll be able to get up and walk on my own."