FRESNO COUNTY, California - Career tech education programs strive to prepare students for work or college after they graduate high school.
Along with it's Career Tech Expo, the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools hosts a number of events bringing students and businesses together. Those relationships are now helping students go right into the workforce.
17-year-old Steven Silva just graduated this past June from Coalinga High School and he is already working for a top construction company in Fresno.
"It was a blessing, I had no idea that they were even looking at me because there were a lot of students who came and a lot of students who were interested in this," said Coalinga High graduate Steven Silva.
Four C's Construction specializes in sheet metal fabrication and installation. Last year it hosted a job shadowing event for dozens of high school students like Steven who are enrolled in rop or career tech classes.
"I think a big part of it is exposing them to the industry partners early. So they can see there is a relevance to what they are doing and it's not intimidating," said Anthony Ayerza with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.
Anthony Ayerza, with the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools says events like job shawdowing and it's Career Tech Expo are putting local industries in touch with kids interested in those careers and it's resulted in some great partnerships.
"Fortunately we have landed people like California Tiny House, Four C's Construction those type of business that have bought in to what we are trying to do," stated Ayerza.
The county office of educations partnership with California Tiny House has resulted in the company developing a curriculum for teachers who are now teaching their students how to build tiny houses.
"It was never really our intention when we started working with the teachers two years ago to have students go through their classrooms build tiny houses and then come work for us," said Nick Mosley with California Tiny House.
But that's exactly what happen, the company just hired two high school graduates at entry level positions.
"It helped me decide that I really want to move forward in this industry and go to college and get my carpenters license and start my own company," said East Central High graduate Julian Berber.
Ayerza says the fact that student's are getting jobs right out of high school shows the strength of it's CTE programs and students.
Before being hired at Four C's Steven worked for the company last summer and during his senior year of high school he worked during winter break, spring break, and whenever he could.
"We told him that if you come here and you show excitement and you show up everyday and you're eager to learn then you have a job waiting for you and that's what he did," said John Chambers with Four C's Construction.