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How we became Rivet School

Nearly three years ago, a small team of collaborators banded together to ask a simple question: How might we build a better college experience for traditionally underserved students?

Motivated by this challenge, in 2018, we launched a new organization — an accelerated, affordable, and flexible college program for working adults. We named this organization “Concourse Education” to represent our vision of a diverse community of students gathering together before journeying on toward their own destinations.

Two years later, this organization serves over 100 students across northern California, from Stockton to San Francisco to San Jose. Our partners include the largest school districts and networks in the Bay Area. And, most importantly, our students are thriving: The majority of our students are on track to earn a BA in three years or less, and for less than $10,000 in out-of-pocket cost.

While we provide a platform for students to learn, thrive, and graduate — our students owe their success not to us, but to their own power, perseverance, and grit. And so as we prepare to enter our third year of serving students, we are proud to unveil a new brand — one that places our students at the center of this community.

Meet Rivet School.

During World War II, Richmond, California — our organization’s hometown and HQ — was home to four Kaiser Shipyards. (Today, on the site of one of these former shipyards sits the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, which honors the “efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the World War II home front.”) By the end of the war, workers at these shipyards were producing a new “Liberty Ship” every two weeks.

While America remembers these workers through the cultural icon of “Rosie the Riveter” — a white woman — many Richmond Shipyards employees were women and people of color, and had traditionally been excluded from middle class, industrial jobs. For some of these workers, a position at a shipyard was a first stepping stone to a middle-class life (despite the persistence, post-war and to this day, of institutional racism).

We remember these “Riveters” for their strength and optimism in the face of evil abroad and, sadly, at home. And we recognize and honor these characteristics in our Rivet School students, too.

Today, some middle-class jobs can still be found in shipyards (though in Richmond no longer). But the majority of growth-career jobs are to be found in the knowledge economy — in technology, business, healthcare, and beyond. Rivet School is the place where hardworking, ambitious students can prepare themselves to access today’s middle-class jobs. And we’re committed to being the onramp to these opportunities for traditionally underserved students – those that are working, parenting, or the first in their families to attend college.

We’re honored to welcome you to Rivet School.

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We look forward to getting to know you!
- The Rivet School Team
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