Hello. I would like to introduce you to a new friend, who I know you will enjoy meeting and also about the new program that he has coordinated and introduced to our Napa Valley College.

The program’s abbreviated name is TIPS — Trades Introduction Program. I was excited about this program when our new friend, Dan Digardi, first told me about it last July, when we were each waiting in line in our separate Napa Valley College floats, to enter the 4th of July Parade.

As we were talking about this program, I asked if we might meet for coffee and talk more about TIPS, as I was sure that you would like to hear about a new option for your grandchildren, as I was.

A quick aside: my involvement for participating in the parade was through Napa County Alliance for Senior Education. If you are a reader of Senior Corner you will remember that a group of us who attend the Adaptive Physical Education class at NVC formed NCASE last year, with the intent of working with NVC in introducing to Napa County seniors a series of workshops intended to be of interest to our fellow seniors.

We hope to announce the date of our first workshop, which will be on mental health, very oon. So please stay tuned.

Dan Digardi and I met for coffee, and it was a pleasure visiting with him. I learned that he is a representative on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees, representing Area 1, and had served as chairman in 2015 (each year a new chairperson and vice chairperson are elected.) He believes in Napa Valley College, the success of the students, and the fact that NVC is rated No. 1 among community colleges in California.

He cares, deeply that the students achieve success in their time at NVC. He’s a man of few words, but it’s just a matter of his not wasting words, which I find a real pleasure. My feeling is that he is a strong, quiet leader, fully studying each issue and coming to a fair conclusion. I especially studied him as I realized that he will be coming up for re-election to the Board of Trustees in November. As I have since studied his background, I appreciate him all the more.

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But, back to our meeting over coffee, we immediately got into the subject of TIPS, and I soon realized one of the reasons Dan was so excited to be instrumental in bringing this program to NVC. He is a natural for introducing TIPS to NVC, as his background is as a working carpenter, followed by a career as a labor representative with the carpenters union.

Dan said that the building trades are facing a serious shortage of trained workers, since the baby boomers are aging out.

After my visit with Dan, I felt as if I was leaving an old friend. I was struck by the calm, dedicated, thoughtful person that he is. Someone who is steady as a rock, checks out all the facts and then makes a firm decision. Someone you feel would continue to place the college and the student body ahead of all else, and the right person to continue in his position as representative of the NVC Board of Trustees.

My hat is off to Dan for being instrumental in making this wonderful program available to young people so that they can learn a craft and have the chance to make a good living. A huge tip of the hat to Dan for his integrity, conscientiousness and determination to help open this door for students. We wish the students good luck. The door is open, make it count for you.

This first class at the college may already be underway, but, if you are interested in future classes, please call Cindi at Sonoma Building Trades at 707-576-7299.

I’ll say goodbye for now. Find what gives your life joy, and do that and we’ll visit again next week.

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Write to Betty at bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net.