H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 7, 2011 7:58 PM by Ariel Wesler

Teens explore career options

High School students across the Central Coast got the chance to play the career field today at Allan Hancock College. The school hosted its annual Career Exploration Day. The event was open to the public, but geared toward teens. Around 50 education and industry representatives were on hand to help them learn what it takes get a job in their chosen field.

In this economy, getting ahead means getting a head start on the career search.

"Maybe I want to be a firefighter. Maybe I want to be a cop. I don't know. I'm coming to check it out," said Mark Madrigal.

More than 1200 local high school students showed up for Allan Hancock's Career Exploration Day.

"That's really the purpose of this is to let high school students know what is available locally, so they don't have to travel a long ways to be prepared to go into the workforce," said Anne Cremarosa, Allan Hancock College Dean.

Hancock's machine technology program is one of the more popular choices. It helps students spring into the work force by connecting them with industry professionals.

"There definitely are skilled machining positions open. If not with us, certainly with other manufacturers," said Diane Pilloud, Human Resource Manager for Helical Products in Santa Maria.

On the health sciences side, students could take a peek inside an ambulance, learn about c-p-r training, and the realities behind it all.

"I saw the dummies there. I saw the ambulance and I was like, Ok, this is where I need to go," said Eduardo Moreida, who goes to Orcutt Academy.

"A lot of people get their interpretation of what we do off of movies," said Sheria Hyde, who's part of Hancock's Emergency Medical Services Academy. "So, I think the honesty in telling these kids, you know, this is what it's like is a little bit eye opening."

A chance to open their minds to a field of possibilities and motivate them to succeed.

"I really have to start studying. I really have to start working at this. I really have to start doing better," Moreida said.

Hancock says the down economy has been driving more people toward its technical education programs.

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