Job advice at career fair

Woodland Community College students know that the constant evolution in the job market makes choosing a career challenging. 

Students attended the career fair at the Education Village, in Williams, during their lunch break, on April 11, which provided them with an opportunity to gather information about companies, organizations, career opportunities, and job openings. 

Participants included the California Highway Patrol, Colusa County One Stop, Colusa County Office of Education, Olam Tomatoes, N&S Tractor, Colusa County Health and Human Servicers, among others. 

“We’re always hiring,” said Vicki Markss, CCOE Children’s Services, one of the presenters at the Thursday afternoon fair. 

Rodrigo Lopez, student engagement and outreach specialist for Yuba Community College District, who hosted the fair, said students often struggle to find career paths, especially ones that allow them to live close to home. 

Lopez worked with Woodland Community College counselor Joanna Ramirez to hold a career fair that featured local employers in a variety of professions, including firefighting and law enforcement, as well as opportunities in real estate and government. 

“We had a little bit of everything,” Lopez said. “We had a diverse group of companies to help our students explore various careers.” 

Ailed Garcia-Saavedra, of Jane Smart Realty in Arbuckle, taught for 17 years at the University of Hawaii before embarking on a career in real estate. 

“I tell students that if they are looking at a career change, it is a relative short course in training to become a real estate agent,” she said. “You can technically complete it in three or four months. The money is there. Like anything, you just have to work hard but it is enjoyable.” 

Claudia Dominguez, 24, who is in her second year of college, didn’t really think she would find anything that related to plant science – her field of study – when she went to the career fair on Thursday. 

Dominguez said she was pleasantly surprised. 

“I was looking for something about plant science, and I did find it,” she said. “The USDA was awesome. When the guy was explaining about all the careers, I was thinking ‘Oh my God. This is what I want. This is what I was looking for.”

Dominguez, who grew up in Williams but graduated from Willows High School in 2014, plans to transfer to a four-year college, possibly Sonoma State, which has a strong program for her major.

Other students, who were undecided on a career before the fair, said they were a little more confident afterward that they would be able to decide their path before completing their second year of study at the community college campus in Williams. ■