Their Mission: Finding Jobs for Every Student at Edison Job Corps

Welcome to Edison Job Corps’ career transition services where transition specialist and other staff are busy helping soon-to-be graduates get jobs.

“Every day is different,” says Career Transition Specialist Isabel Rocha. “There are no schedules. Sometimes we plan on doing something and all of a sudden a student gets a phone call for a job interview—and we are on the road!”

Isabel says they create individualized plans for students.

“I take every student to my office, one on one. So, we work on their goals, on their plans.”

From day one, they begin helping Job Corps students prepare for gainful employment. They do a lot.

“[We] apply for jobs,” she says. “Call the companies. Have meetings with the companies. Introduce Job Corps. Tell them how the program works.”

On this particular day, Isabel took Pedro Perez, a student in the electrical program, to two job interviews. And on their way back, they had great news to share with a staff member they ran into in the parking lot.

“Hi Ms. Sweeney,” said Isabel and Pedro. “I have great news for you,” said Isabel. “Oh, yeah”, responded Ms. Sweeney, “What?” “Pedro went to two interviews today. He did not get the job. He got two jobs!”

Pedro was offered two jobs in the electrical field.

“So, now he gets to pick which one he wants,” added Isabel. “He has another interview scheduled for tomorrow.”

Pedro was excited.

“It felt great knowing that I’m already going to start working, going to start paying some bills, making money.”

He’ll start at around $16 an hour and quickly move up to around $25 an hour. For Isabel, helping students get jobs is why she does what she does.

“That’s what makes me get up every day and come here.”

And Pedro recognizes her hard work and dedication.

“She put in a lot of work, a lot of extra work. I notice that after I leave to my dorm, she stays there. She looks [for] jobs for me, calls for me saying, ‘Oh, I have this great student. He just finished trade. He’s looking for a job. Would you like to see his resume?’”

The interviewer commented, “You’re almost like a mother in some ways.”

“Yes,” Isabel answered, “yes almost like a mother.”

For Pedro, the feeling is mutual.

“It makes me feel like she’s my mom.”

And “mom” doesn’t stop there. She helps graduates long after they’ve left Edison Job Corps.

“We follow up with them, the books say for a year, but sometimes after a year some students keep calling and asking for help, and we offer [it] to them.”