Wilmington, CA – More than 500 10th and 11th grade students from International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) academies at Banning and Carson High Schools packed into the first ever Career day event at Harbor College, Wilmington, CA. The warm student reception observed by the corporate and Government officials, who attended and made presentations, was the right formula to raise hopes to counter discouraging job prospects.
“It is good to see the work that ITEP is doing for kids that may not have any idea of what is available in the workforce for Global Trade today,” said Diana Jansson, director of Global Trade Compliance, Dole Food Company Inc., Westlake Village, CA, who spoke to the students. “I believe that these types of programs are a way to take social responsibility to prepare and expose the younger generation to the available career opportunities in the field of Global Trade.”
The event was entitled “ITEP & LA Harbor College Present GPS Your Future” and focused on preparing for job opportunities in the near future. It was sponsored by Harbor College and the Foreign Trade Association, the Port of Los Angeles and Watson Land Company.
Shortly after the career fair, Capt. George Kolarov, a guidance counselor at Banning High School, said, “The majority of students found something that tweaked their interest and gave them a few areas to dream about.”
The interactive college campus setting provided students with “real,” timely information about international careers and opportunities in the future. Planning for the event grew out of an ITEP Board discussion on the need to further help academy students to be exposed to the variety of careers related to international commerce and to develop career goals.
“In the USA, Global Trade is very young and new so our schools systems were not offering these types of credentials and training until recently,” explained Jansson, “Other countries around the world, like European countries, have been training students and doing international internship programs as part of the High School and College requirements on International Business for a long time which gives those countries a head start on the global trade process.”
Jansson also noted that in order to really know how to play the game of International Trade, “We need to know the rules, she said. “What better time to review some of the basic rules than with High School kids so they can have a bigger picture of what could be available to them besides the local business they’re expose to, on a daily basis.”
Jansson contends that by having the industry present to young students, it will push educators to expand the areas of teaching for a more in-depth curriculum of Global Trade.
Exhibits organized by ITEP and the Foreign Trade Association were staffed by some 20 companies and government agencies involved in global activities who provided the students with personal guidance as they discussed various types of skills, education and expertise sought by global firms.
The exhibitors included: APM Terminals, California Maritime Academy, Center for International Trade & Transportation (CSULB), Center for International Trade Development (El Camino), Comerica Bank, FedEx, Fashion Institute of Design & Manufacturing (FIDM), Foreign Trade Assn. , Halcrow HPA, Keesal Young Logan, Los Angeles Harbor College , LAHC Wildland Fire, Los Angeles Port Police, Matson Navigation, NYK Logistics, Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Shell Pipeline Co., Tesoro Los Angeles Refinery, Trade Attorneys, Trucking & Freight Forwarding Firms, US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, US Commercial Service (Dept. of Commerce)
The exhibitors also offered projections regarding the types of positions expected to open-up in the next few years in maritime law, engineering, finance and maritime law enforcement. Additionally, educational institutions such as the California Maritime Academy, El Camino’s California International Trade Development (CITD), and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) had representatives present to talk about educational opportunities open to ITEP graduates.
Later in the day, the students participated in a dozen breakout sessions to raise their awareness of the variety of potential careers in several fields, including maritime law enforcement, “green” environmental fields, non-profit careers, global logistics, careers requiring computer graphic skills, fashion design and merchandising, and hospitality and food service careers.
ITEP Fair coordinators and volunteers are already talking about planning another one for next year.
Images Online and for this story were provided by
Christopher Muscarella and Harlene Stanley.