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Job Corps honors Omnitrans as Employer of the Year

Job Corps honors Omnitrans as Employer of the Year 2015Omnitrans is honored to be awarded Employer of the Year 2015 by the Inland Empire Job Corps program in San Bernardino.

The transit agency has hosted several interns from the program, which offers no-cost education and career technical training to people ages 16 to 24.  The certifications and experience students gain through Job Corps helps them improve the quality of their lives and teaches them skills they need in order to find meaningful jobs.

Over the past year, Omnitrans has placed interns in Human Resources, Facility Maintenance and Equipment Maintenance.

Inland Empire Job Corps

“We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to work with these young people and help mentor them in their fields of interest,” says Human Resources Director Marjorie Ewing.  “We have had wonderful experiences with our interns. They come in with a positive and professional attitude and quickly adapt to the demands of the job. I highly recommend Job Corps to any business considering an internship program.”

Employer of the Year Certificates

Certificates honoring Omnitrans as Employer of the Year for 2015

Facilities Supervisor John Gensel managed several interns last year. He says he can tell immediately which students have mastered the Job Corps program and are seriously pursuing their careers.

Job Corps tile setting students

Job Corps tile setting students

“We had one stand-out intern who was really good at electrical work,” says Gensel. “Dakota was very quick and had a great work ethic. Whenever he finished a job, he always found something more to do, like cleaning the shop or organizing the cabinets.  He was an excellent worker, and I would have hired him in a second if we had had a current job opening.”

Employer of the Year 2015 group shot by photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans HR Specialist Denise Gibson, Facilities Supervisor John Gensel & Facilities Manager Mark Montgomery provided Job Corps interns with hands on work experience.

Business and Community Liaison Claudia Lopez is proud of her Center’s reputation. She explains that community partners like Omnitrans are an invaluable resource for the program.

Culinary Arts student

Job Corps culinary arts student

“Most of the students we serve come from low income families, and many have never graduated high school. They come to us because they want an opportunity to change their lives, continue their education, and establish a meaningful career. Partners like Omnitrans help us to prepare these young people for the workplace, by providing them with real life experience that allows them to practice the skills they have acquired.”

Click the video below for a close-up look at the Job Corps campus & activities.

The Job Corps program’s unique environment has provided its graduates a solid foundation for success. In addition to career training, a majority of students live on campus and are provided a living allowance twice a month and three free meals a day. They also have access to a Wellness Center that provides basic medical, dental and mental health services at no additional cost.

Fields of vocational career training include: Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Office Administration, Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant, Landscaping, Painting, Plumbing, and Tile Setting.

Job Corps electrical students

Job Corps electrical students

Students also receive academic training, including basic reading and math and the opportunity to obtain their High School Diploma or their High School equivalency previously known as GED. Courses in independent living, employability, and social skills are also offered in order to help students transition into the workplace. The Center also provides assistance with job placement and continuing education.

DianeHead2

Sales Supervisor Diane Bojorquez

Omnitrans Pass Sales Supervisor Diane Bojorquez graduated the Job Corps program in 1973. This year she celebrates 38 years in the transit industry and her 12th anniversary with Omnitrans.

“I graduated high school when I was 17-years-old, but couldn’t afford college,” she explains. “Job Corps was a great option to get more education for free.

“It was probably the best thing I ever did. I started off learning office administration and, later, focused specifically on transportation. Soon I was promoted to call center manager and later became sales supervisor. It’s grown into a career.

“I would definitely recommend Job Corps to anyone looking for financial stability, job opportunities, or help getting into college. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. For me, the experience was life changing.”

Job Corps carpenter students

Job Corps carpenter students

The success of Job Corps impacts more than just the individual. It is also changing our culture.

“Job Corps is not only helping local youth,” says Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “It is also creating a professional job force that will help grow and revitalize our community. We are excited to be part of that process, and are honored to be awarded Employer of the Year.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Job Corps medical administrative assistant student

Job Corps medical administrative assistant student

Interested in applying to the Inland Empire Job Corps program? Contact Leeann Jimenez, admissions Counselor, at 909-887-7128 or Jimenez.leeann@jobcorps.org

If you are a business wishing to partner with Job Corps, please contact Claudia Lopez, Business and Community Liaison at 909-887-7154 or lopez.claudia@jobcorps.org

 

Omnitrans interns land new jobs

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans planning  interns Victor Cuate and Edson Ibanez have recently taken on new job positions. Victor is now a full-time planning analyst for the agency, while Edson has been hired as a city planner for the city of Azusa. Both credit Omnitrans with providing them a solid foundation in the transit planning and recommend internships to other students interested in entering the field.

“The planning internships here are very hands on,” says Victor. “And the managers really take you under their wing. They don’t necessarily assign you a project and stand over you. They give you project options and want you to take it and run with it. You learn to work within limitations and act as a team with others in the department to enhance your skills.”

Edson agrees. “One of the biggest things that helped me was doing inter-department presentations because with the city I now have to do a lot of public hearings. I also some public hearings here at Omnitrans, so that helped give me a foundation as well. I also gained  an understanding of  how land use and transportation play a role in development. In my new job with the city, I am doing stuff that has to do with sustainable communities and a specific transit development plan. My experiences both with Omnitrans and SanBAG have given me a great foundation to build on.”

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans is looking for a temporary, part-time transit planner intern. You can read the full job description and find our application form on the Omnitrans careers page.

Click below to view our video interview with Victor and Edson as they talk transit and share their experience at Omnitrans.

Planning intern presents at D.C.conference

Omnitrans planning intern Edson Ibanez recently had the opportunity to travel to the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in Washington D.C.  The annual conference engages more than 7,000 scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest by participating on TRB committees, panels, and task forces.

“This was my first time in D.C. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to talk with the executive directors from TRB and meet Anthony Foxx, the US Secretary of Transportation. I also liked learning about up and coming topics like Bus Rapid Transit, which is something I’m very interested in—especially with our upcoming sbX launch later this year. It was interesting seeing how BRT has been adapted all over the world, Although it’s just now getting here to the states, it’s been very popular in other countries for a long time.”

A TRB Minority Fellows scholarship covered Edson’s registration and travel expenses to the conference where he presented his academic research in the form of a poster titled “Integrating Transportation Hazards in Hazard Mitigation Plans: Findings in California Cities,” which compared hazard mitigation plans of 10 large California cities and offered recommendations based on his findings. He believes it is important for cities to partner with transportation agencies to integrate a transportation hazard component at the local level within their hazard mitigation plans.

Professor Richard Willson (Department Chair
of Urban and Regional Planning at California
State Polytechnic University, Pomona) and
Edson pose for the TRB Minority Fellow Program.

“Los Angeles and San Francisco both demonstrate a transportation component within their hazard mitigation plans, and I believe they could be used as a template for other cities. Looking at climate change is important as well. Studies have shown that we will be seeing a significant rise in sea level in the next 50-100 years which can impact our coastal regions. Heat waves are another concern as sustained increased temperatures can melt certain rail lines.”

Edson’s goal is to one day work as a transportation planner.

“My passion is public transit and social justice. What can we do for the working poor? What can we do for the urban poor? How can we better accommodate our services for low income minorities? Something that can provide an option for me to work on these issues would be amazing. I’ve been at Omnitrans for about 5 months now, and I really enjoy the experience I’m getting. One of my recent projects was analyzing ridership data for Route 365 and actually going out on the route and riding it. We were looking at possibly extending it to a residential community to better serve high school students in that area—basically adding a tripper. We also had to see how it would affect route time. After researching it, we were able to determine that it would not have a significant impact on route time, so we will be implementing the change in an upcoming service plan.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

SB native intern moves ahead

Thirteen months ago intern Alvaro Gomez came to Omnitrans to intern in the planning department. This month he leaves us to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California where he will continue his planning studies. He believes Omnitrans has given him a greater understanding and insight into the policies, development and economy at work in this area.

“The scope of the projects and organizations Omnitrans is involved with beyond just the cities would surprise most people.  I was very fortunate to have our planning director Rohan Kuruppu and planning project manager Anna Rahtz mentor me and give me the opportunity to attend so many different meetings and workshops. It’s given me some fantastic opportunities, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of people who have a real passion for public transit, economic development and livable spaces.”

The experience, he says, further impressed upon him the pivotal role the agency plays in the local community. “I was fortunate to be here at a time when so many new projects are on the horizon,” said Alvaro. “I grew up here in San Bernardino and it’s encouraging to see the growing movement to revitalize the area. Working with Anna and Rohan, I was able to assist with the research and grant writing for major projects like sbX and the San Bernardino transit center. It’s exciting to have the chance to be a small part of something that will have such a positive, long-term impact on people’s lives.”

In addition to his interest in planning, Alvaro is also an avid cyclist and biking advocate. He was recently featured in an Omnitrans instructional video on how to load your bike on a bus rack (see below). “I like the flexibility of being able to combine bus and bike–especially for longer commutes–and I think we’ll see more people taking advantage of that in the future. One of the things I would really like to explore is connecting and expanding our current bike infrastructure in southern California. We have a lot of bike paths in this area, but many of them are not connected and maintenance isn’t what it should be. I’d love to see more people ride.”

For now, he’s leading by example. “It’s been interesting watching people in my own neighborhood react when they see me on my bike. It’s infectious. There have been a bunch of kids who have decided to pull out their old bikes and go for a ride. It reminds them of how much fun it can be.”

-Juno Kughler Carlson
junocarlson@omnitrans.org

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Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans provides experience for Job Corps intern


Omnitrans has been proud to host several interns from the Inland Empire Job Corps program in San Bernardino. The program offers no-cost education and career technical training to people ages 15 to 24 to help them improve the quality of their lives and teach them the skills they need in order to find meaningful jobs.

Nineteen-year-old Rosa Silva, our most recent intern, works in the call center where she provides assistance and information to Omnitrans passengers. “It’s an interesting job,” said Rosa. “You never know who will be on the other end of that phone. It might be someone who wants to file a complaint or commend a driver. A lot of the time it’s someone who needs help with directions and knowing which routes to take. Yesterday I took a call from a lady who needed Access bus info. Her 15-year-old daughter had recently gone through brain surgery and didn’t have long to live. She needed the bus to get her to her doctor appointments at the hospital. It makes you realize how important the bus service really is to people.”

A year ago Rosa was doing packing and maintenance work for a warehouse. She disliked the job and felt there was little room for advancement. Through Job Corps, she has been able to gain office and computer skills, become certified in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and work towards her business certification. The program also opened the door for the internship opportunity with Omnitrans.

“Job Corps has made a huge difference in my life,” said Rosa. “And I’ve learned so much through my internship at Omnitrans. I really enjoy working the call center and would love to continue to do this as a full-time job.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org