Showcasing Career Education

On January 25th, 2020, over 3,000 regional career education high school students and 300 community college students arrived at the first SkillsUSA regional championship held at PCC. 

Students of all ages, genders, and races – all inspired by the chance to showcase their workplace talents and technical skills – gathered to compete in the event designed to enhance, promote, and honor students in career education. 

PCC’s hosting of the competition was made possible in part by the generous gift of Jim and Becky Sarni, who made it a point to support the College’s career education programs. 

As Jim explained, “Despite today’s robust job market, there remains a challenge resulting from the growing disconnect between the number of jobs available and number of workers with the job skills required to fill the jobs.” 

There are currently about 3,500 students at PCC enrolled in career education programs, and Jim and Becky would love to see that number continue to rise.

“Career education programs offer a valuable solution for those who make the effort,” Jim said, “and Becky and I are pleased to do what we can to help contribute to the success of PCC’s program.”  

In addition to supporting the SkillsUSA championship, their gift also supported PCC’s culinary arts program and enabled it to be completely revamped in 2019 to modernize the College’s hospitality program.

Once students have completed their programs, the next barrier they face is to acquire the necessary tools so they can successfully land their dream job in the workforce. This is when career education faculty select the most deserving students from their program to receive the Boone Achievement Awards. The awards are in the form of tools of the trade such as a Snap-on Tool kit for automotive technology graduates, an NCLEX exam for nurses, or the latest computer and software for graphic design students. 

The Boone Achievement Awards were the inspiration of Nick Boone and Robert Hernandez of the Boone Foundation. Through their generosity, students are invited to a special ceremony and many are brought to tears when they learn that their award closes the last financial hurdle before entering the workforce. 

“The Boone family has a long history with PCC and we are pleased to honor and support deserving students as they begin their careers,” said Nick Boone, president of the Boone Foundation. “PCC does an outstanding job training the workforce of the San Gabriel Valley and the Boone family is proud to play a small part in helping graduates of this institution make the transition into their careers.”