By Tracy Correa
Eight young adults from the Hinkley-Barstow area on Monday (Oct. 29) marked the successful end to a career training program that provided them work experience and the necessary skills to get a head-start in the competitive job market.
Participants of the Hinkley Career Training Program took part in a special completion ceremony held at the historic Harvey House in Barstow. Surrounded by family, friends, instructors and PG&E representatives, the young adults took turns expressing their appreciation and sharing stories of their personal journeys as they look forward to embarking on their career paths.
PG&E funded the training program with a $38,000 grant given to the Career Institute, an organization that specializes in career-building services for young adults. The 18- to 24-year-olds received nine weeks of paid work experience and classroom instruction, including help with interviewing techniques and resume preparation.
Students, and the six local businesses that helped train them, received certificates at the ceremony. Andrea Gooden, a manager in PG&E’s environmental remediation department and project lead for a cross-functional team at PG&E that helped launch the training, recognized the program’s partners and stressed the value of collaboration.
Gooden said the public-private partnership was a great success for everyone involved — the young adults, employers and Career Institute.
She said that while the youth showed promise from the start, “The program gave them a chance to reveal their talents, gain confidence and establish their own personal paths toward ongoing career growth.”
Most of the students are continuing in college classes and have a clearer picture of their career path. And some of the businesses where the students trained during the program have expressed an interest in hiring them.
The program grew out of a suggestion from the Community Advisory Committee in Hinkley. The desert town suffers from an unemployment rate between 14 and 15 percent. For a young person with limited job skills, the market is even tougher.
E-mail Tracy Correa at Tracy.Correa@pge.com.