Cerro Coso College will be poised to host the grand opening of its career center on Thursday, and with it bring plenty of resources for career resources.

The center will serve both college students and community members, according to Jennifer Marshall, the center’s director and job development specialist.

“You don’t have to be a student here at the college in order to come in and receive our services,” Marshall said.

According to a Cerro Coso College news release, “the Career Center is a hub for personal and professional development. Students, alumni, and community members can explore and build connections between academics, personal interests, and professional development.”

Marshall said services will include workshops and tips on resume writing, job interviewing, job searches, dressing for success. The Cerro Coso Career Center is designed to help businesses find qualified workers and assist job seekers to obtain employment and training services to enhance their careers. The center also offers assistance with career exploration, one-on-one and group career counseling, and job placement services.

“I also help students and community members with job search and application completion,” Marshall said. “If they need help completing an application for, say for Walmart, they can come in here and I can assist them on computers with helping them apply.”

There is also career pathway planning.

“If people don’t know what they want to do, a career they want or classes they need to take, I can help them with interest tests,” Marshall said. “There are different interest tests they can take to narrow down what different career paths they might be suited for.”

Students who attend other Cerro Coso College campuses, such as the ones in Tehachapi and Lake Isabella, and the Eastern Sierra College Center in both Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, can also make use of workshops via the college’s remote connection network.

Marshall said she will be conducting a series of workshops from her desk, with students being able to watch remotely.

“We have the ability to do all our services remotely,” Marshall said. “One night we had all of our IT students do a resume workshop — I had about 15 online and we were able to interact and share our screens.”

The career center is part of Cerro Coso’s refurbished main building, which had its grand re-opening on May 29.

“This space is going to transform how we prepare students for careers and brings us that much closer to our goal of integrating career readiness into the student experience while they are here on campus,” said Cerro Coso President Jill Board in the Cerro Coso news release.

Over the years, the College Career Center has gone through many changes, but has found its new and convenient home within the recently re-modeled Main Building,

“The career center has a long history,” Marshall said. “Back in early 2006, the college CalWorks program received funding to hire a job development specialist to help students transition from welfare to work.”

Marshall served in that role for five years before transferring to the special services program. The job development specialist program was refilled but Marshall said people would move on.

During the college’s remodeling of the main building, a lot of programs were relocated to modular buildings on both sides of the campus. During that time period, the career center was briefly dismantled.

“When they moved back into the main building, they were hiring for the position, I applied and was hired for it,” Marshall said. “Now this center is funded by Career Technical Education, so I’m able to work with all student populations, as well as community members.”

In addition to workshops, career exploration and job search and interview help, Marshall said the center also helps place student workers both on campus and in the community.

“We have probably around 200 students that work here on campus,” Marshall. “That’s something I do every semester, place students in different departments.”

As far as job placement in the community, “the only time I would do that is with internships and on the job training.”

Marshall added she does work with various contractors and businesses in town to create internships. In addition, she said she works with various departments aboard Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, including the Navy Pathfinders Internship and Recent Grads programs.

“I work with the Pathfinder director there to help transition our students or getting our students to apply for those internships,” Marshall said. She estimated around 10 were hired this past year for that program.

The career center’s grand opening is Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., in Room 228 (second floor of the main building). During the Grand Opening guests will find a vast amount of resources including job search strategies, career exploration, internships, workshops, as well as information on college Career Technical Education programs.

The public is invited to attend and explore all the career services Cerro Coso has to offer. Refreshments will be served and parking will not be enforced.