Job placement center: Getting your foot in the door

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By Fryda Gonzales

By Fryda Gonzales

Recent graduates are facing tough times finding work in their desired career field.

Although specific job-placement numbers are hard to come by for the class of 2005, college placement officials say last year 60 percent of the graduating class across the nation are not in jobs for which they have a degree.

“They are working on sales or anything but the field they want to work in,” said job placement tech Gregory Ramirez.

An issue originated by the lack of research done by the students prior to choosing their career. They failed to forecast if their major is going to make them employable in the near future.

“We need to incorporate something in the guidance and English classes to make sure their decision in their career in going to be lucrative and not become obsolete five years from now,” Ramirez said.

How can graduates compete in the job market?

Graduates who had real-world experience through internships related to the employment they seek have an edge.

The Job Placement Center located in the Technology Building A, Room 133 is there to help students primarily in finding internships, full-time jobs, part-time jobs and seasonal positions over the summer or during breaks.

“I needed a job that was more for my age and my sister told me about the center,” student Tameika Timmons said.

Timmons obtained two part-time jobs through the center. She worked as waiter at a local cafe and in the collection department at Citibank. Both employers were flexible to accommodate Timmon’s school schedule.

“If I never came into the center, I never would know about these jobs,” Timmons said.

The center can also arrange co-ops in which the students will take off time from school and work for six months to a year in a position to gain experience. Then, the students will go back to college to complete their studies and the employer will hire them as soon as they attain their degree.

According to Ramirez, a lot of companies will do that type of innovation because they get the students that have the experience and the education.

An abundance of jobs in the field of education are also being offered. Three new local high schools including John Kennedy High School at the Norco Campus are opening in September.

“Students going into this field should be knocking on the doors of the Human Resource Department of Corona and Norco School Districts applying for instructional assistant jobs, tutorial jobs or any other jobs available,” Ramirez said. “These are great opportunities to be opening doors for students on this field.”

The Job Center also posts jobs in the medical field. The Blood Bank offers positions across the board in all medical fields from transport person to RN’s with out experience and start up with good salaries.

For the student who is not interested in a four year program, there are other options like auto mechanic, air conditioning, heating and welding. These are a two-year programs and employers are willing to hire.

The center provides assistance with resumes, mock interviews and maintains a student database for future openings. In addition, the employers posting jobs at the center are required to interview every student on the spot or with in a couple days of receiving their resumes.

The Job Placement Center caters to an average of 15 to 20 students per day. Last year, it placed 62 percent of the students seeking a job and this year have a goal of 70 percent placement.

The 27th annual Career Fair will be held on May 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bookstore Promenade at the Riverside Campus.

So what does the future hold for the graduating class of 2006?

Prospects may be brighter for the new graduates joining the work force.

The employers plan to increase their hiring of college graduates by more than 13 percent this year according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers , a non-profit group linking college career officers with employers.

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