Valley Works: Student Job Training

FRESNO, California

The college is partnering with businesses in the community to give students on the job training.

It doesn't matter if you're a sales associate at a local department store or a nurse working at the Veterans Hospital, the people doing the hiring want you to have experience.

"We have a lot of nurses who apply for jobs here and they don't have any work experience and we are looking for nurses who have experience."

The Veterans Hospital is one business that is partnering with Fresno City College to help provide students with a valuable opportunity.

Karen Collins said, "The vocational intern program is designed to help students experience a real world experience."

Fresno City College's vocational internship program has been around for a while but Karin Collins, Job Developer with the Career Employment Center says the work is now tied to the students major.

"This is really a process for them to discover about who they are and if they are on the right career path," Collins said. "If this is a good fit for them, if their major is a good fit for them."

Officials say many of their vocational education students on a career path, lack the proper work experience, for example an accounting student may have only worked at a fast food restaurant.

Through the colleges vocational internship program students like Bee Yang, 19, are now getting the right training.

Bee Yang said, "As far as my major goes for business, at school we're just learning the material as far as the internship, we are actually applying it to the real world."

For the past several weeks Bee, a business administration major has been working at California Bedrooms Furniture, processing accounts receivable, doing exactly what she is learning in her accounting class.

Bee added, "It makes me feel like I am actually doing something out of what I've learned."

Business Owner Jaime Serrano says bee is not only enhancing her accounting skills she is learning much more. He said, "The students get firsthand experience, they talk to customers and they learn different aspects of a business as far as customer service."

Serrano says the internship program is just not a benefit to students. He says small businesses like his wholesale furniture company profit as well.

"We get new fresh ideas from college students into our business that help us change and involve and grow," said Serrano.

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