From “I Think” to “I Am”: How LA Job Corps Students Prepare for Career Success

Oliver Sims, work-based learning (WBL) specialist, works at the Los Angeles Job Corps center. His job is to get his students hands-on experiences after they have completed some basic learning steps. He loves their journey.

“It’s amazing to me,” Oliver states, “because I get to see them in the beginning when they have ideas like, ‘I think I want to be an electrician.’ So, they have those ideas, and they take their math classes, and they take their trade class. Then I take them out to a work site, and they get to do it [in real life]. It’s amazing to get to see students go from ‘I think’ to ‘I am.’ That transition is amazing.”

Kaiser Still
Oliver Sims, WBL specialist, LA Job Corps.

The Kaiser Medical Center in Los Angeles is a great partner with Job Corps, providing volunteer and internship opportunities to LA youth. “This is a win-win situation,” says Kathleen McIntire, director of volunteer services for Kaiser Health. “They’re coming in to give to our patients and to give back to us. But at the same time, they’re gaining mentorship from the leaders that are here. They’re gaining work experience. They’re gaining real-life experience into what it looks like and how to be a healthcare professional. So, when they leave us, our goal is that they are ready and prepared to get a job in healthcare.”

Oliver is grateful for the employers he works with to provide his students with quality WBL opportunities. “It’s amazing for our kids to come out here. They work so hard in the classroom, so it’s really important for them to get hands-on experience.”

“Job Corps is an extraordinary partner that we have here at Kaiser,” Kathleen says.

Kaiser Still
Kathleen McIntire, director of volunteer services, Kaiser Health.

“We have worked with them for the past few years. We know that they are taking the underserved, underprivileged youth and adults and giving them these real-life opportunities to learn and to grow into their future careers. We love to partner with them because their students always come in, they’re always ready, and they’re always eager to learn.”