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Summer courses teach meaning of hard work
maintenance class 1
Upcoming senior at Turlock High School Hefren Gutierrez helps clean up pig pens at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds as part of Turlock Unified School Districts Summer Landscaping and Maintenance classes.

While a majority of students are busy spending their summer vacation sleeping in or venturing out of town, ten students can be found working at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

Resulting from a partnership between Turlock Unified School District and Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, a paid internship has been made available to these students at the fairgrounds, where they assist and support the fairground personnel in an array of job duties and work assignments.

The application process for this internship is highly selective and most tasks, which give students the opportunity to earn Career Technical Education credits, will run through the conclusion of the Stanislaus County Fair, according to Isaias Rumayor, Jr. , the principal at Turlock Adult School.

For five days a week at the fairgrounds, students can earn CTE credits in exchange for their work on beautification projects, lawn maintenance, facility repairs and fair setup, while also supporting fairgrounds personnel prior, during and at the end of the Stanislaus County Fair.

This is the second summer that Hefren Gutierrez has participated in the paid internship course after he initially heard about the opportunity from his friends.

 “This internship teaches us how to work together in order to accomplish whatever we need,” said Gutierrez, who will be a senior at Turlock High School next year. “Taking part in this class has taught me the meaning of hard work.”

In addition to the paid internship, TUSD has been offering Summer Landscaping and Maintenance classes in partnership with its ROP allocation for over a decade. According to Rumayor, students can earn up to 20 CTE elective credits during the course.

“Our goal was to provide high school students with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while taking a CTE course during the summer break,” said Rumayor. “Additionally, students are able to earn or recover elective credits which they could apply towards graduation.”

Students are assigned to eCademy Charter at Crane, Pitman High School or THS, where they clean classrooms, maintain lawns, clean carpets, buff floors and assist TUSD custodial and maintenance staff in preparing facilities for the start of the new year.

 “I feel it is extremely important for students to gain an array of work experience while in high school,” said Rumayor. “Many students struggle finding part time jobs, in many cases, due in part to the lack of work related experience.”

“The students participating in our courses will leave with a wide range of experience in custodial and maintenance in addition to the soft skills requested by most employers,” continued Rumayor.