MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- The Combat Center hosted students from the Morongo Unified School District to participate in the Job Shadowing Program, Feb. 18, 2015. The program allows students to visit the base and observe service members performing the jobs in which the students have an interest.
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, Combat Camera and the Provost Marshal’s Office, were among the 19 departments that participated in the program. More than 30 students attended the event.
“The Marine Corps has been a great partnership for this program,” said Lori Jo Cosgriff, Morongo Unified School District’s job developer, native of Twentynine Palms, Calif. “We can match our students with someone who has the career field that they’re interested in and they can ask the questions in a free, comfortable environment.”
The program takes place annually with this year’s students coming from Twentynine Palms, Blackrock and Yucca Valley High Schools. The students connected with an employer for approximately three hours, and each employer developed a small itinerary for the students, allowing them to get a feel of what it would be like to perform that particular job. Planning for the event included coordinating with the different departments on base and making sure they were able to mentor students for the day.
“I think it bridges a gap in the community,” said Thomas Cruz Jr., school liaison, Marine Corps Community Services, native of Austin, Texas. “We’re a big employer in the local area and a lot of students understand that. I think this is one of the most important things; learning what types of skills you’re interested in, getting into that career and seeing them first hand.”
1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and 1st Tank Battalion have adopted schools in the local area and participate in school-related events when the opportunity arises. The Job Shadowing Program was established approximately 10 years ago in an effort to show students that many jobs in the civilian world exist on base. Having a wide array of occupational specialties to choose from provided the students a variety of choices when it came to the jobs they wanted to observe.
“In this welcoming environment we see that it’s not as intimidating out here as we perceive it to be,” Cosgriff said. “The students understand that the men and women they meet out here are friendly and welcoming. I think the Marine Corps base is a great asset to our community and definitely a great asset to our schools [through these programs].”