BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Job Spot, a collaboration between the Bakersfield Adult School and Bakersfield College are helping bring education and training to the under-served adults in Kern County.
Bakersfield College is making it their mission to reach out to the local agriculture community, a large portion of which are immigrants-speaking a language other than English, which can often be a barrier to getting a job similar to ones they held in their home country.
Bakersfield college hopes to spread the word about the opportunities they have, like free English learning courses, which could mean a new career path for some.
"Our goal is to support adult learners, 25 or older, although we do see them younger than that. Our goal is to help them transition into school or back into the workforce," said Endee Grijalva with Bakersfield College.
Bakersfield College in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School is hoping to provide education and training programs to help locals improve their career opportunities creating a hub called job spot in South Bakersfield.
This year job spot has taken a renewed focus on the agricultural community and the large population of immigrants working in the fields.
"That's where the idea of the outreach to the vineyards came into the picture, going out to the people,” said Grijalva.
According to the Kern Economic Development Corporation, about 50% of the population in Kern County are Hispanic and many don't speak English.
"Through the adult education program, we have been able to provide ELS courses in a noncredit setting which eliminates some of those fears and those barriers to them attaining that education,’ said Grijalva.
But instead of waiting for the community to go to them, Bakersfield College went out to recruit in the fields.
"For them to see us come as a unified group, it's allowed us to form amazing relationships with them and build that confidence and help spark an image of themselves that they maybe had never seen of themselves before,” Grijalva.
Consuelo Gonzalez works in the fields and is a single mother with two daughters, saying that when she heard of this opportunity it was one she could not pass up.
" Yo quiero desarollar mi idioma para poder agarrar mejor empleo y mejores oportunidades," said Gonzalez.
(I want to learn English to better my future and have better opportunities.)
And used the little English she knows to say…
"These classes will help my life."
Gonzalez signed up for the English courses and says improving her English would mean she could find a better job or even higher education to better her future.
"We are providing pathways from the adult school to BC and even on to the four-year university," said Grijalva.
If you have any questions, you can email Endee Grijalva at firstname.lastname@example.org