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PG &E with the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County employed dozens of teens with summer jobs

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 21:32:03-04

Dozens of teens were employed this summer thanks to a partnership between PG&E and The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. 

In order to apply for the summer jobs program, teenagers 15-18 had to complete a 10-week learning course which taught them career education and job readiness. 

Once they completed the course, they were put through two rounds of interviews. Before the 10-week course there were nearly 350 students. A total of 180 students completed the course and 75 made it through the first interview. The final 55 were selected after the second interview and placed at various companies throughout Kern County. 

Madalyn Armijo, 17, was one of the 55 selected. She was placed at Kern County Builders' Exchange. 

"In the beginning I like knew nothing about the company, like what they did and like how everything works. I thought I was going to be lost the whole time," said Armijo. 

But Wednesday, Armijo was handling the job with confidence. The position is Armijo's first job and it's all thanks to the Summer Jobs Program. 

"In the beginning that was my goal, trying to get a job so bad," said Armijo. 

The interns are paid by the Boys and Girls Club with a grant from PG & E, so there is no cost to the employers. 

The idea is to give students job experience they can use later on in life. Armijo works alongside the rest of the staff, doing what ever they need. She said she's already seeing her growth. 

"Before I used to be like really shy, now I'm still shy but not as much as before," said Armijo. 

Mikin Plummer, the executive director of Kern County Builders' Exchange said this is her fourth year having an intern and is proud of the confidence Armijo has gained in the five weeks she has been with the company. 

"We forced her to answer phones and talk to some of our member when they come in and she's doing great at it," said Plummer. 

Plummer said she wished every high school had a program similar to the summer jobs program and thinks every student should apply. 

"What they take out of this program is invaluable lessons. It gives them that foundation to start on the path to where ever they're going to go," said Plummer. 

Armijo said everything she's learning is helping her prepare for future jobs.

"Now that I have a job, I have job experience so when i apply for other places I'll like know like what other people would know if they've never had a job before so I'll be a step ahead of them," said Armijo. 

Armijo's internship ends next week and then she will start planning for her senior year at Highland High School. She said after high school she plans on attending college at either Bakersfield College of California State University, Bakersfield. She said she wants to be an American Sign Language interpreter or find a job where she can work with kids. 

To learn more about the summer jobs program click here.