By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Kids told manufacturers need good workers
Graduating high school students in Ceres should take advantage of a retiring workforce to seize good-paying jobs at local manufacturing plants. That was the advice of Greg Gaudio, a workforce consultant with the Alliance Network, to Ceres High School students on Monday.

Approximately 100 students at CHS filled out work applications so that Gaudio could help connect them with 13 manufacturers in the area, include Gallo, Frito Lay, and Pepsi Bottling. Gaudio works for a unique program called Careers in Manufacturing Partnership, operated by the Alliance. The goal of the program is to make youth aware of career opportunities in manufacturing and connect motivated students 18 and older to jobs.

"We do have lots of jobs," Gaudio said.

Gaudio doesn't promise jobs but he takes all the applications to Human Resources managers who may offer the next step.

"It's an extra shot getting in," said Gaudio. "That's good because being 18 is a step down because they have no work history. They will get looked at and that is the key."

He said many companies, such as Silgon Containers in Modesto, are hungry for a young and energetic workers to replace an aging workforce. He said Frito Lay is looking at hiring 30 to 40 from high school. Pepsi Bottling plant in South Modesto is in need of 10 to 12 workers for the 100 days of summer, said Gaudio.

The program also tests students for "Work Keys" essential in finding a job, including applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. Youth are also coached on basic life skills, such as the importance of showing up to work on time and not using a cell phone while on the job.

The effort has a two-fold purpose. Not only are youth connected to those hiring but the Alliance is demonstrating to existing and prospective employers that there is a ready and capable workforce in the Ceres-Modesto area.

Mike Corsaut, Ceres Unified's Career Education Learning Center director, said employers like Gallo will work around college schedules and will even pay to finish college for a work-related degree.

"They want good, educated employable students," said Corsaut. "They don't have a problem paying for college. It's like tuition reimbursement."