Bakersfield College’s Agriculture and Career Education Departments are Working Together to Prepare Students for the Agriculture Industry
By Domenica Trinidad, Job Development Specialist, BC
Bakersfield College has a great Career Education (CE) department that helps prepare students for a wide range of high-wage, high skill, and high-demand careers. Bakersfield College recognizes that CE is at the forefront of preparing students to succeed in fast-growing, high-growth industries around the country. The CE department provides students with a variety of services and opportunities to prepare them for immediate employment in the industries related to their major. Agriculture is a major industry in Kern County, and Bakersfield College CE department now offers a variety of local degrees, transfer degrees, and certificates to help keep up with the high demand of skilled workers in the industry. Students in the agriculture pathway are provided a pathway coach team that includes, counselors, educational advisors, and job development specialist that will guide students along the way to help them stay on track with their educational and more importantly with their career goals.
The CE department along with faculty in the agriculture department work together to prepare students for the workforce and connect students with industry employers by hosting career fairs, grand opening for new programs, career readiness workshops, webinars, and internship opportunities. Events like our annual Agriculture Career Expo and the Mechanized Agriculture Grand Opening help introduced programs to current students and high school students while promoting industry involvement. The grand opening in 2018 of the Mechanized Agriculture program resulted in partnerships with several prominent heavy equipment companies in Kern County that provided placement sites for students that following spring semester. Since the launch of the new program, approximately 85% of the students who completed work experience received offers of employment from their placement site or shortly after graduating from employers within the industry. Students majoring in other subjects such as, Plant Science or Veterinary Technician have gone through the internship program to receive course credit and work experience that have resulted in new skills attainment as well as employment offers directly after completing their required hours.
It is through collaboration of CE staff, faculty, and industry that these partnerships yield successful student outcomes of education, workers, and contributions to boosting our economy. For that reason, CE is committed to continue to grow the department and services that are provided to students and employers. With the implementation of the online platform Jobspeaker, it is now easier than ever to bridge the gap between education and employment. In just the last three months approximately 1,200 applications were submitted in Jobspeaker by students looking to gain part-time and full-time employment. Jobspeaker is a free service for both students and employers and it is instrumental in helping with job search and recruiting needs. Employers can utilize Jobspeaker to directly reach over 10,500 of our students and Alumni for all their recruitment needs by posting jobs, internships, and recruiting events.
Whether you are looking to fill one position or several, or creating internships with your company, the CE staff is ready to assist you through the process. You can reach out to Job Development Specialist, Domenica Trinidad at, Domenica.Trinidad@BakersfieldCollege.edu or CE Director, Stephanie Baltazar at, Stephanie.Baltazar@BakersfieldCollege.edu for specialized assistance in connecting you to your future workforce.