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Youths Participate in Internships with EBMUD

Sep 22, 2015

Earn and Learn East Bay Receives $30,000 Donation

Earn and Learn East Bay received a donation of $30,000 from Phillips 66 to fund 20 youth from John Swett High School to participate in paid summer work experiences.  JSHS youth who attended Supervisor Federal Glover’s Youth Summit on May 9, 2015 signed up for a chance to participate.  The Contra Costa County Office of Education Youth Development Services coordinated the internships for the Phillips 66/John Swett youth with employers that included East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) and the Contra Costa County Libraries.

Two of the youth who interned at EBMUD were Brandon Scura (17) and Kyle Laughlin (18). Both youth reside in Rodeo and graduated from John Swett High School in June 2015. While attending John Swett High they participated in the machine technology courses taught by Tony Tammer, where they developed an interest in machining and welding.  The EBMUD internship was selected for Brandon and Kyle to build on their current experience and interest in welding.  They commuted from Rodeo to Oakland Monday through Friday for five weeks and started work with the crew beginning at 7:00 am each day. Intern duties included working with a Journey level Welder on preparing weld surfaces for welding and smooth welds using hand and power tools (power grinder, file, cutting torch, hammer and chisel) and stocking weld trucks with specified parts and fittings. They also had the opportunity to read blueprints, distribution maps and sketches as part of their experience.  

Brandon stated that he really appreciated the opportunity to participate in the internship and he obtained more hands-on experience. In his words “if you aren’t actually doing it you can’t learn.”  He also shared that “these programs make people feel better about themselves and they are important for youth who may not have the means to go to college or want to take a different path and get into the trades.” Both youth received high praise from Department Supervisor John Ford and Worksite Supervisor Miguel Robles, who suggested they apply to EBMUD as welders in the future.

Since completing the internship in July, Brandon is looking at welding programs he can get to and hopes to someday work at EBMUD or a similar agency in a welding position. Kyle is seeking employment and considering post-secondary options. Both youth now have a very valuable work experience and transferable skills to include on their resume.

Kaycee Surman (17) who will be starting her senior year in the fall at JSHS also participated in the EBMUD internship. Kaycee worked in the San Pablo EBMUD Office as an Administrative Clerk where she managed the phones, entered information in EBMUD web programs, completed data entry, and assisted with permit requests and work orders. Kaycee also had the opportunity to tour EBMUD facilities and the graphics department, which she enjoyed because she has aspirations of becoming a graphic artist. Her supervisor stated that Kaycee performed tasks well, completed assignments on time and communicated very well and that they enjoyed having her in the office.  Kaycee shared that the experience helped her become more professional and be more confident in speaking with others and asking questions.