- STEM Academy
Soon-to-be graduate has workforce offer in-hand
Wednesday afternoon, with family, friends and local media in attendance, soon-to-be Permian High School graduate Brizzia Guzman signed a letter of intent. This was not a college scholarship offer. It was a letter of intent to go to work as a Welder/Assembler for Air Compressor Solutions (ACS).
The event was designed to draw attention to this critical, final step in preparing students for our local workforce – that is the student securing a job in a high-demand, high-wage field right here in her hometown.
ACS owner Brian Stubbs is a big supporter of education, and passionate about renewing the emphasis on trade skills in America. “I think it is a really important part of our society,” he said. “Getting good people to do good work is something we always want to strive for.
“I love that this [signing] is just as big a deal as somebody going off to college. It needs to be made a big deal that we are graduating people with skills and they are getting jobs the day after graduation.”
Technically, Brizzia will graduate from PHS on Thursday, May 25, and start her new job with ACS on June 5. But why quibble?
“It’s really exciting,” said Brizzia. “[I’m] very nervous at the same time. You’re realizing you’re becoming an adult already,” she added as she laughed.
Eight years ago, Star Tech created ACCESS which gave ECISD students an online platform to connect to business owners and other professionals who answered questions about jobs and careers and could serve as coaches and mentors. The effort now includes the Workforce Solutions Permian Basin, and career fairs in which employers meet with students in-person, in school. It is this type of connection that brought Brizzia into contact with ACS.
It is fair to say they liked what they saw from Brizzia in the interview process.
“She is everything we want working here at ACS,” said Erica Pando. “Great attitude, lives by our core values, not only that, but she came into the interview trying to learn. She was underneath our skids trying to look at the weld. That’s pretty impressive to us.”
Brizzia is a bit of a ground-breaker here, the first student to be featured in this kind of job fair signing event. Her dad was a bit of a ground-breaker, too, having been part of the first welding class that moved into the Frost Center in 1997. His welding teacher was Nat Armendariz, who is also Brizzia’s welding teacher today. Both are quick to call him a great teacher.
“I learned a lot,” said Brizzia about her experience in the ECISD welding program. “How to be a responsible worker, always show up, always do what you have to do, work hard no matter what and put your best into it.”
“We all want hard workers and good students and good citizens,” said Brian. “Having a pathway for everybody is super important to me and I think it’s a great opportunity for Odessa.”
Related media coverage: NewsWest 9, Odessa American.