Twenty-one tables from various large-scale companies and consortiums lined the floor of the Los Medanos College Recital Hall Wednesday morning, April 22 for the 5th Annual Industrial Technology Job Fair.
“We want our students to be employed and happy,” said Community Partnership Liaison Tara Dale Sanders. “The reason it’s so important is that our local economy is all in skilled manufacturing. This is not only supporting the organizations that poured into the program, but also the community and students.”
While the Job Fair has only been occurring since 2010, the Process Technology and Electrical and Instrumental Technology programs have been around since 2008.
Cecil Nasworthy, who is head of the ETEC program at LMC, indicated that originally he worked at a program similar to the one at LMC at USS-POSCO. But after the events of 9/11 security reasons prevented the program from running further. Several corporations that wanted to help continue the program at LMC quickly approached Nasworthy and after an arduous struggle to pare down the amount of knowledge to fit a two-year program everything but a hands-on lab was available. In 2008 several corporations donated a large amount of equipment to the school to help create the hands on lab.
Nasworthy said he wanted to give the students, with the new equipment, a head start in their search for a career.
“We basically said, ‘We want to have a job fair,’ and then set one up in L-109,” said Nasworthy.
Five years later the job fair of an initial 12 companies has nearly doubled in size, increasing the opportunities for both students and alumni alike.
“I think it’s helped us as far as candidates for hiring,” said Shell Instrument Specialist Kris Koller. “It’s really helped our company find qualified and successful people.”
While Koller admits it’s difficult to find someone with the knowledge and mechanical aptitude they seek, they haven’t yet let go of a candidate from LMC.
“We’ve got full time employees,” said JoAnn Rowney, the Human Resources Coordinator at USS-POSCO.
Rowney said she not only believes the job fair is important to both the company and the students but also feels the internships the program offers are important as well.
The internships “give chances to see a real world environment,” said Rowney.
Student Albert Garcia agrees internships are essential.
“I get a lot more notice now that I have experience,” he said.
Among the hopeful students during the job fair was welding student Fred Alvarez.
“The job fair has directed me to opportunities in my field,” he explained. “I feel I’m as ready as I can be.”
Overall the event was a success with many students receiving offers for employment and several receiving offers from multiple companies.
“This event has been so successful and we connected so many students and alumni with employers that we’re looking forward to hosting one for Nursing and EMT as well,” said Sanders