Student Spotlight (2016)
Edward Saenz was recently hired as a technician by Amazon Fulfillment Center. He is an example of a nontraditional student who returned to community college to gain new job skills and training. Despite his busy schedule, Saenz remains engaged in the ACE program and offers advice to students considering the automation field. His long-term goal is to return to Norco College as a part-time faculty member to teach automation technology.
“In high school, my most interesting subject was science. After graduating with a series of electronics courses, I went to my first interview and was hired on the spot. This company was a manufacturer of offset printing presses. Within a short time working for this company, I was given my very own company car, a tool bag and my own area with approximately 20 customers in Los Angeles. My duties were mainly preventative maintenance and support of printing equipment sold by the company. It was a great opportunity that supported me for many years.
Unfortunately, I was laid off after many years of working. Finding a job in this competitive workforce became more difficult than ever. Due to my latest layoff and some other unfortunate life situations that occurred, I was very discouraged. I was not doing very well, financially and emotionally, because of my unemployment status. However, I learned about the ACE program at Norco College which offered a certificate in Automated Systems in seven months and I decided to pursue it. I primarily chose this program because programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are the new big thing and there is a high demand for technicians in our region. Since finishing the ACE program, I am absolutely encouraged and excited about the growth potential in the field. The Norco College staff helped me every step of the way and before I knew it, I was enrolled and attending classes. I truly appreciate the staff at Norco College. I didn’t feel like a student, but rather a member of a team of people who all shared the same goals - to help us learn, complete this program, and find a job.”
The ACE program leads to a technical certificate in less than seven months for less than $5,000. Upon completion of the program, students will earn a certificate and college units.
Veterans and individuals who are unemployed are strongly encouraged to apply, however, ACE is open to anyone willing to commit to a full-time program.
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