STEM Training for College Students Tied to Business Growth and Economic Mobility
According to Pew Research, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training in college is associated with higher earnings, whether working in a STEM occupation or not. That’s why many colleges and companies are increasingly placing an emphasis on championing STEM workforce training programs and curriculums to provide students with the resources, knowledge and skills they need to be successful in today’s economy. Additionally, a report from the National Association of Counties showed that top government leaders are also increasingly investing in STEM education and workforce preparedness to better support current and future economic needs.
At a time when unemployment rates are at a record-low, finding meaningful and high-quality jobs for many can still be a challenge even for skilled workers in the United States. Poverty rates remain high, especially in California, so many companies and educational institutions within the state are focusing on creating new job opportunities for college graduates and helping to provide a path to the middle class for California’s diverse working families. Connecting kids to fields with good-paying, high-demand jobs in the energy industry has become especially important for students in low-income communities. The oil and natural gas industry alone supports more than 368,000 jobs in California and reflects a diversity of workforce that is higher than most other sectors.
LATTC STEM Field Training Program
To match great upcoming talent with these job opportunities, companies and colleges like the Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC) are developing unique job training programs to offer students the opportunity to gain real-world workforce experience and provide a pathway for them to attain high-quality jobs and put them on a path to success.
In 2017, LATTC partnered with California Resources Corporation (CRC), California’s largest independent oil and natural gas producer, and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council to develop a new annual field training internship program. Every summer, college students from LATTC pursuing a degree or certificate in engineering, construction, design, maintenance or utilities are selected to participate in a paid internship and job training program with CRC. CRC staff including operators, mechanics, and electricians teach student interns and provide insight into all facets of oil and gas operations, facilities and equipment. Interns rotate through several departments such as operations, mechanical maintenance, and electrical, ensuring that they have a well-rounded understanding of oil and gas operations by the end of their summer program.
“Our partnership with California Resources Corporation has been an invaluable benefit for our students. Several have been selected for life-changing internships in numerous disciplines offering real experience to support lasting careers in the oil and natural gas industries. LATTC students are preparing to be part of a strong workforce in this region, and CRC is a committed partner dedicated to creating this career pathway.” – Laurence B. Frank, President of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.
Innovative and impactful STEM educational programming by institutions like LATTC and companies like CRC provide not just real-life work experiences for students to help them excel in their professional careers, but they also provide hope and security to those preparing to join the workforce. Building and maintaining California oil and gas infrastructure is not a one-time project, but rather an ongoing investment over decades in the safe, dedicated work of tens of thousands of Californians. The graduates of LATTC’s Construction, Maintenance and Utilities departments are in a perfect position to excel in California’s energy industry while also helping provide the state with the energy residents need and drive business growth.
To celebrate education, workforce training, and the community partners who provide opportunities for students, the LATTC Foundation recently hosted a Student Benefit Dinner on October 11th honoring Todd Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer, CRC; Sylvia Castillo, Director, Foundation & Community Outreach, Union Bank; Brian D’Arcy, Business Manager, IBEW Local 18; and Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports, for their dedication to supporting blue collar workers and providing job training opportunities to the leaders of tomorrow.