Our College Bound program has helped a great number of youth graduate high school and go to college. Now, many of our college educated alumni are returning, hoping to share their educational and professional experiences with harbor area businesses. Thanks to the generous support of long-time friend of the Club, Mitch Harmatz of Plaza Automotive Center in San Pedro, our College Bound Director Yesenia Aguilar teamed up with International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) to organize the “Careers for College Graduates Mixer” on January 7 at the Warner Grand Annex.
The event allowed over 50 of our College Bound alumni, who have graduated from college or will soon graduate, make connections that may have a significant impact on their futures. Port Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi, an alumnus of our San Pedro Club, opened the event by detailing the changes planned for the harbor area and the need for community involvement to revitalize the business sector. Our Executive Director Mike Lansing spoke next, motivating our youth to be active in their job search. “You have to be aggressive and make a difference in this community and for your own life,” he said. ITEP CEO Amy Grat brought to light the many opportunities at the mixer by asking everyone in a particular industry to raise their hand so that young professionals could more easily network.
The event followed Mitch Harmatz’s vision of a more casual networking event as opposed the the job-fair environment that job seekers are normally faced with. Young professionals and employers conversed throughout the evening in a relaxed atmosphere as appetizers and refreshments were served. We received assistance promoting the event from our local political representatives including Octaviano Rios, Harbor Area representative for Mayor Eric Garcetti; Ryan Ferguson, San Pedro Field Deputy for Councilmember Joe Buscaino; Elise Swanson, District Director for Congresswoman Janice Hahn; and Miguel Cordova, Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi who were all in attendance.
Companies represented at the mixer include Boeing, Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, PS2 Engineering, Wells Fargo, Toyota, Total Terminals Inc., and Valero. We look forward to what’s next for our College Bound alumni!