Corpus Christi, TX --Ten Corpus Christi Army Depot employees who began their careers in partnership with a local college program were recognized recently for 5 years of determination and success.

The recipients graduated from the Student Career Experience Program, a two-year plan that enables students to secure a solid career working 32 hours per week or more at CCAD in a related field while continuing study toward a certificate or degree at Corpus Christi's Del Mar College.

Recognized were: Adam Alaniz, Dalexis Cavaness, Tara Diamond, Jahna Fulton, Brad Hoover, Vicki Kaatz, Travis Lindley, Aurelio Marroquin, Candice Santos, and Arlene Jimenez Viramontez.

"I would not have had a chance working for the Dept. of Defense as a civilian employee had it not been for the program," said Arlene Viramontez, one of the awardees.

Viramontez currently works for the office of Maintenance Operations under the direction of Dennis Williamson, CCAD Assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance Operations, and also instructs the next generation of SCEP students at Del Mar.

"When I heard about the SCEP program, I saw it as a great opportunity to not only educate myself, but head down the path to a great career," said Tara Diamond, another recipient.

Certifications can be earned for Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Welding Applied Technology or a student can get an Associates Degree in Applied Science in Production and Logistics Management, Electroplating, Composite/structural Repair, or Nondestructive Testing.

Under the program, students start at the WG-04 or GS-02/03/04 grade level. When they complete it, they convert to WG-07 or GS-05/07/09 grade level as a permanent full-time employee.

According to Lenora Keys, Chairperson of the Department of Business Administration at Del Mar College, "Interest in the SCEP Program in Logistics and Supply Chain Management has been very strong,"

Vicki Kaatz was working as a contractor at the depot and attending Del Mar College when she heard about then started the program. She's received certification in Production Management Logistics and an Associates Degree in Business Logistics. She works in the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) Division often traveling to help prepare future LMP sites.

"The program has continued to grow each semester," Keas said. "This spring semester, we will have more than 50 students who have declared this as their major and many who are taking courses in the program."

"Do it. It's a great experience," said Adam Alaniz when asked what advice he'd give other students considering the program. "It's a good way to open up doors, make connections, build rapport, and learn from some very talented and knowledgeable people."

"It is through partnerships such as this that we provide opportunities for students to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their careers," added Keas. "At the same time we, as a college, are given the opportunity to provide the support to employers such as CCAD."

"The positions that are created under SCEP integrate on-the-job training with a formal college education," said Keas. "This combination of training and education has proven to be the most effective method of developing employees."

"Critical job-related skills are necessary to the success of the workforce and this program provides those skills," she added. "We see the value of the SCEP Program as an excellent example of how industry and education can work together to serve the community,"

The benefits aren't too bad either. In addition to the education and career, students earn sick and annual leave, and are offered health and life insurance options, similar to regular full-time employees.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16