Paid internship helps students ‘Jump Start’ industrial jobs

The Jump Start Into Industrial Careers Internship program offers opportunities to prepare students for future industrial work and boost employment rates

VISALIA – Central Valley high school seniors could bridge the gap in blue-collar work after joining a 4-week internship program to learn more about careers in industrial technologies.

The Jump Start Into Industrial Careers Internship program began July 5 and will end July 28. It is a regional partnership between various colleges, including College of the Sequoias Tulare and Hanford Campuses, Porterville College, Reedley College and West Hills College Lemoore. All colleges offered 4-week paid internships to teach students the skills they need for jobs with local manufacturing and agricultural companies.

Jonna Schengel, Dean of Career Technical Education, Workforce Development and Nursing and Allied Health at College of the Sequoias, is excited to offer this opportunity for students across Tulare and Kings Counties. 

“This internship provides the students with the engagement and exposure to learn the multitude of different career opportunities within the industrial and agricultural technology industries,” she said.

The program’s goal is to attract and prepare the next generation of employees to meet the needs of local industries and provide good paying jobs to residents of the Central Valley. According to the Strong Workforce Program of California Community Colleges, there is an unmet demand of over 1,700 trained people in industrial maintenance and an unmet demand for 399 trained electricians.

The internship is designed to give high school students a glimpse of many different career opportunities within industrial trades, according to Chelsea Cushing, relations liaison for COS’ Career Technical Education

“These are some of the highest paying jobs in the valley and research shows that the job market will continue to grow in these areas,” she said.

According to the Regional Director for Employer Engagement in Advanced Manufacturing, Gary Potter, there are over 12 million manufacturing jobs in the United States.

“By 2030, an estimated 4 million manufacturing jobs will be needed,” he said. “This program will help in the development of a talent pipeline to fill the needs of our local manufacturing, agricultural and industrial employers.”

The program has already received significant interest from local high schoolers with 291 student applicants for the first student cohort across the region. COS is hosting 40 students in total at their Tulare/Hanford campuses. Participating employers and organizations supporting COS include BlueScope Buildings, ProMach, Faraday Future, Leprino Foods, Valmetal, GUSS Automation, J.G. Boswell, Tulare County Foundation for Ag Education & Youth, Southern California Edison, Tulare Workforce Investment Board, Community Services Employment Training, Kings County Job Training Office, and COS Training Resource Center.

Each student should receive a $1500 scholarship/stipend for their participation, funded by public and private dollars and corporate sponsorships. The training will cover topics such as industrial maintenance, industrial automation, electrical training, OSHA safety, industrial math and soft skills.

This regional effort is spearheaded by the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium which funds operational costs such as lunch, transportation, equipment and more. The organization is already planning to expand the program to meet the demand from both students and employers.

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