Heidi Allen has taught at Cerro Coso Community College for nearly 25 years and has been proud to see her students do great things, like write their names and share with others. That's because Allen is a teacher at CCCC's Child Development Center, which provides child care to the community of Ridgecrest for children 18 months to 5 years old, with priority given to Cerro Coso college students.
Everybody needs a plumber. And in 2009, Bakersfield College found itself in need. That's how Don Birdwell, a certified plumber since age 22, came to work at the campus and eventually landed in his current role as Building Facilities Manager for the Kern Community College District.
When the pandemic forced education at all levels to move online, it posed a particular challenge for classes that have corresponding instructional labs. But at Porterville College, lab technician Jaqueline Verduzco Alanis sprang into action and devised creative solutions so students could still get the valuable, hands-on experience that is so critical to the sciences.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday that it will partner with the City of Bakersfield and the Kern Clean Cities Coalition, a group of local partners including the Kern Community College District, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Community Action Partnership of Kern and the Kern County Farm Bureau, to develop a roadmap for clean energy economic development. The collaborative project, known as The City of Bakersfield's Kern Community Resiliency and Microgrids, aims to use and develop microgrids to mitigate rising energy costs for low-income households and decarbonize the agriculture industry to sustain, if not enhance the agriculture and value-added industry, which employs 1 in 5 residents in Kern County.
At 20 years old, Endee Grijalva found herself packing up the car with all her belongings. She, her boyfriend and their two babies were newly homeless. A single thought raced through her mind.
“I knew I had to continue my education,” said Endee, now 36. “I enrolled at BC the next day and didn't look back.”
For Cerro Coso English Professor Melanie Jeffrey, community college isn't just where she works. She says it also saved her life.
Growing up in Los Angeles, her family was poor and on welfare most of her young life. In high school, she attended a regional occupation program in cosmetology which landed her a job working in a hair salon straight out of school, which was her first career.
Jacob, a 21-year employee of the Kern Community College District, is an accounting manager in the district's finance office. In fiscal year 2020-21, she oversaw reporting for 187 grants and restricted funding accounts that totaled $57 million. As the district's grant funding has increased in recent years -- last year grant funding it increased 20 percent over the previous year -- Jacob's role ensuring every dollar is accounted for and reported accurately has taken on increasing importance.
Hired in July, Amaurys Fermin relocated to Porterville and came into the job with just three returning players from the previous season. He set out to recruit a full team. He didn't have time to hire assistant coaches. And he started his first semester teaching kinesiology at PC after earning his master's degree in May. Any one of those challenges would be reason enough to expect a slow build up to his team's success on the court. But that hasn't been the case.The Pirates have charged through the season racking up enough wins to head to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. And the feathers in their cap don't end there.
The Kern Community College District has named Jessica Grimes as its Dean of Economic and Workforce Development. In this position, she will serve as the regional chair for the Central Valley/Mother Lode Regional Consortium and play a lead role in ensuring a broad and equitable post-pandemic workforce recovery throughout the region.