The “Center for training and work apprenticeship” was established in 1954 in Stroppo, a small village in the high Maira Valley; it was a center dedicated to the development of all the jobs connected to woodwork such as carpentry, inlaying and sculpting.
In 1960 the center was moved to Dronero. In the same period many more different courses were started: turning, welding and thermohydraulics along with all the courses connected to carpentry already mentioned. The place chosen for the school was Beltricco Barrack where at first the labs were very simple. In this period the Headmaster of the center was Don Rossa, the so called “Don Bosco of Maira Valley”; with great passion he teaches a craft to the young people living in the area. These young people were willing to start work and make use of the skills learned in the Center. Due to the industrial boom the center gets some new labs. The vocational training provided starts to create highly qualified workers to the companies of the area and Don Rossa’s boys become not just specialized workers, but also entrepreneurs and craftsmen. In the school year 1964/65 a new course is started: “Mechanical fitter” which is the first course covering metalwork engineering which is very important for the industries in Cuneo county. This field, with new names and innovations, is still very important as it provides local companies highly qualified workers. The 1970s are very important for CFP as it develops immensely, so much so that the local municipality of Dronero, in 1975, builds a new school in Via Meucci 2: a modern building with huge and advanced labs where electrotechnichs is taught and mechanics is increased. By the end of the 1970s, a time when industrial reconversion was at its peak, CFP is chosen by the people responsible for Burgo group for the redevelopment of Celdit in Madonna dell’Olmo which used to be used to process cellulose and it was now turned into a modern factory for the processing of paper. 110 people are involved in the project, 90 get a diploma and are successful in the fields of welding, mechanics, turning and milling. This experiment is the first example of a new way of teaching: on-going and permanent training for employed people. In the 1980s vocational training evolves and that is largely due to stages which are a combination of school and work experience; stages are a novelty both for schools and for factories and they make it easier to create a connection between schools and companies. Highly qualified students, thanks to the stage, can have an experience of the world of work and put into practice what they learn at the Center. In this way CFP gets in touch with the most important local companies: Cartiere Pirinoli, Bertello, PPG Industries Glass, Saint Gobain, Bottero, Caroni, Fontauto, Michelin, Merlo, Burgo ecc. These companies ask training centers to be effective and in line with their needs, therefore training becomes a service for the local area and for its companies. This cooperation between the Center and the local companies creates the need for a new type of courses: post-diploma courses. In 1982 courses for hardware and software technicians and system technicians for people with a diploma of technical and vocational secondary schools make it possible for the students to gain specific and specialized skills requested by local companies. In the mid 1980s CFP becomes so important that the Local Authorities decide to become active and play a first hand role in the running of the Center: the municiplaities of Dronero, Caraglio, Busca, Comunità Montane of Maira Valley and Grana Valley, Cuneo County create a Consortium to manage CFP Dronero, which, starting from the school year 1985/86, takes over Enap (Ente nazionale – National Agency) for what concerns the running of vocational training. At the end of this delicate part of the history of the Center the Headmaster Don Rossa retires and the new headmaster and his collaborator Mr Gilberto Pomero will manage the Center from 1980. From the 1990s two main vocational and training branches develop:
Training for employed people in sectors such as automation, informatics, quality, foreign languages, all this with steady and on-going collaborations with the most important companies in the area.
A third professionalizing area develops: with a cooperation with State Vocational Secondary Schools, within the connected initiatives concerning a third professionalizing area specialized post-diploma courses are organized with Istituto Professionale per i Servizi e la Ristorazione in Mondovì and Istituto Professionale per l'Industria e l'Artigianato of Cuneo and Mondovì. The formative offer gets so wide that in 1997 the Municipality of Dronero decides to build a second school for new labs and new technology workshops such as automation islands and modern IT equipment. Regione Piemonte, in the meantime, with law 63/95 rethinks and reorganizes the whole sector of Vocational Training Courses deciding that a direct managing is no longer the best way for this branch of education and entrusts public and private agencies. So it is that in 1998 CFP Dronero becomes a Consortium Company at limited responsibility changing its name into Azienda per la Formazione Professionale, known as A.F.P. Partners of the company are, along with the Municipalities of Dronero, Busca and Caraglio, the Mountain Communities of Maira Valley and Grana Valley, Cuneo County and also other public and private agencies.
The aims and goals of the company are:
Vocational guidance concerning school and work opportunities;
Services to work.
According to the aims in the Statute concerning promotion, organization, and managing of organs concerning an active policy about work C.I.L.O. (Centro di iniziativa locale per l’occupazione; Local Center for employment) is started and it is currently and actively involved in the definition of the formative offer provided by AFP. Vocational training gets shaped by important new laws and regulations (Law 196/97 about Apprenticeship, Law 59/97 about School Self-Regulation, Law 9/99 about the rise for compulsory school age); all these mean new strategies and new organizations:
l’AFP acquisisce due nuove sedi operative a Cuneo e Verzuolo;
AFP creates two new centers in Cuneo and in Verzuolo;
"Informagiovani" is created for the improvement and development of career and school advising and guidance;
the number of people employed by AFP goes up
the company is accredited by Regione Piemonte and gets the ISO 9001:2008 certification
In 2003 AFP becomes the most prominent member of ATS concerning apprenticeship for the whole county and coordinating projects, administration, accountancy and managerial aspects concerning vocational training for apprentices provided by the most important organs of vocational training in the area. In 2007 and 2008 AFP gets an accreditation to deliver training about the most important inter-professional funds, thus widening its area of concern to the Environment, Safety and Energy, Quality, Certification of Processes, Foreign Languages, PLC, Autocad and Robotics. Since 2008 AFP has been partner of FORMA PIEMONTE (www.formapiemonte.it) which is the regional Network of the Association which, at a national level, discusses with the Government and Parliament the policies concerning Vocational Training and signs the National Contract of its Category. FORMA PEMONTE is an open association promoted by ACLI, CISL, CONFAP (it puts together all the Vocational Training Centers based on Christian principles) which give value to the cultural heritage, the experiences and qualities coming from years and years of relationship with young people, their families, the local area and local companies. AFP, with its own representative in the Board of Directors, plays an active role to reach the goals set by the association.
Education and training are key factors to overcome the economical and productive crisis and they are strictly connected with innovation. For AFP technological evolution is very important: the labs have lathes, cutters with numeric control, robots, domotic technology, islands and areas for industrial automation, IT labs with innovative softwares to get the European Licence EIPASS. In 2010-2011 a new welding lab is built in Verzuolo, and here it is possible to be trained to get the licence as AFP got an agreement with the Company in charge of this certification.
2013: the centers of Dronero and Verzuolo get accreditation for SAL – Servizi Al Lavoro (Services To Work). In this way the connection between training and the world of work get stronger and AFP gets prepared to give the best answers and to consumers and companies. For the future AFP looks ahead to the future with enthusiasm and passion. New challenges are ahead of us and we are getting ready and prepared to face them; we are well aware of the vital role that training and education have for a positive development and growth of our area.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, AFP invests in the European sector by opening up to transnational experiences with flows of users involved in internships abroad (Transnationality Tender) and participating in strategic knowledge sharing partnerships on organisational and educational practices in Europe. (Project Below 10).
On 28/07/2016, the Board of Directors approves the affiliation of the AFP to the CNOS FAP Nazionale, which represents an important step both from a training and educational point of view and from a strategical point of view of belonging to a national organisation.
It begins a process of research, experimentation and methodological training of AFP operators aimed at guaranteeing quality services in the name of innovation and updating.
On 3 September 2018 AFP moves the 6 Headquarter offices from Via Meucci n. 2 to Via G. B. Conte n. 19, although they remain in the town of Dronero.
"Training: the engine of territorial development": a new headquarters that becomes a reference point for the territory, in which a study centre maps and analyses the needs of businesses, local authorities and civil companies in order to translate them into local projects, working as a network.
A paradigm of new opportunities coordinated and integrated with a strengthening of work services to guarantee companies increasingly qualified personnel, trained on concrete needs.
It is a gamble that sets AFP up to become a development agency to serve a territory with tourist, productive and par excellence artisan vocations.