Career Day promotes technical education workforce

Agencies organize tables, hand out gifts, surveys in courtyard


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Richmond High School senior Zuleyma Garcia is handed a shirt by Adriana Vazquez, a program assistant for the San Pablo EDC during Career Day on April 29.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The courtyard outside of the Student Services Center bustled with activity April 29 when 55 recruiters from staffing agencies gave students an opportunity to sell themselves in hopes of someday landing a career in their chosen field of study.

After suffering massive budgetary cuts over four years ago, Contra Costa College lost its career counselor John Christenson to Diablo Valley College, and has not filled the position since.

Most campuses have on-campus recruitment programs to attract employers who are looking to hire students.

CCC had the manager of EOPS and CalWORKs Teresa Orchaga, and Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene, handle the first Career Day held on campus in years.

“With the success of the event we definitely plan on having another Career Day in the future. We would like to hold one every spring semester,” Greene said.

Other campus employment counselors not only offer a pathway for students to reach employers, but also a way for “headhunters” to reach out to qualified students.

“We wanted to give students a chance to survey the field or to find employment in their field of study,” Orchaga said. “It’s also a good chance to give space to our community partners who are looking for an opportunity to show support.”

Certain businesses use all kinds of gifts, from T-shirts to water bottles, hoping to lure potential applicants to their tables.

Some companies already have relationships with CCC, and had tables set up to expand their alliance by marketing themselves to a trained candidate pool.

“We have a history of recruiting from the automotive program here on campus,” Dave Wedding, business development manager of Mike’s Auto Body, said.

“I serve on the automotive board with Peter Lock. We also make financial contributions. We have jobs for students who completed the program and for those with no experience,” he said.

Students attended Career Day in droves to take advantage of the opportunities available.

“I already had to drop classes to look for work,” CCC student Hirvin Mendez said. “I’m just curious to see what everyone is offering.”

Daunte Tuite, associate of Wells Fargo, was on campus to offer more than just employment opportunities.

He said aside from growing his team with new and talented people, he also wants to establish banking relationships.

“We want to teach students the importance of credit because some of the people we’ve spoken to aren’t really into it yet,” Tuite said. “Bad credit decisions they make today will have an impact on their future.”

The Employment Development Department (EDD) was also in attendance to share information on the free services they provide. These services include employment workshops and resume preparation sessions.

EDD also extended its services to veterans on campus.

Adam McClure from the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program said, “We work with vets and help them transfer back into the workforce.”

Private staffing agencies were also serviced and recruited students with all levels of experience and education.