Porterville community shows strong support for newest SJVC campus at ribbon cutting ceremony
Porterville is the ideal community and location for SJVC’s newest campus, where more than 80 business representatives and area residents came to the September 27th Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in a show of strong support.
“We wanted to share with all of the community that we are here,” says Adriana Ruiz, Porterville Campus President. “More than anything, we want to make our community aware of our mission to bring specific education and training programs to the Porterville area; programs for local students. And we will need local business support to hire them.”
The afternoon ribbon cutting began with a welcome by Ruiz and Joseph Holt, SJVC’s Chief Administrative Officer. There were presentations from several community leaders, including Stephanie Cortez, President/CEO, Porterville Chamber of Commerce, and Martha Flores, Porterville City Council Member. Special presentations and introductions were made by state representatives including Cole Karr, Field Representative for Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Devon Mathis, State Assemblyman, and Rogelio Caudillo, Field Representative for Senator Andy Vidak.
Cheryl Marshall, Clinical Medical Assisting student and Associate Student Body President, addressed the attendees. Her speech included a heartfelt account of the education and training she is receiving at SJVC, as well as her hopes for the future. “This school to me, as well as my fellow classmates, has become a second home,” she said. “I feel confident that with the skills and knowledge, along with the career preparedness that SJVC has given me, I will be able to succeed as a Medical Assistant.”
SJVC opened Porterville on May 15th with three Certificate programs: Clinical Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration and Business Administration. Classes are offered morning and evenings and will expand to include afternoon sessions in the future. The campus is located at 314 N. Main Street in Porterville and currently has 111 students.
Many students volunteered to be tour guides for those attending the ribbon-cutting event, while others provided classroom demonstrations of what they had learned.
Clinical Medical Assisting student Michala Howerton was one of the tour guides. “I had an amazing time getting to meet and talk to different people from the community,” she says. “It was great to see how many people care about and support what this school is trying to do.”
Medical students provided demonstrations of capillary punctures, CPR on a mannequin and glucose tests, which measures the sugar level in your blood. “Even the guests were volunteering for capillary punctures and walking out with band-aids on their fingers,” says Ruiz.
Most exciting was the attendance of representatives from several large businesses and medical facilities with whom SJVC would like to develop extern partnerships. A member of the Board of Directors of a major hospital toured the campus and spoke with several students who are nearing their extern placement.
In anticipation of local businesses attending the ceremony, several students brought a portfolio of their education, training and qualifications in hopes of securing a firm lead for an extern site. Howerton was one of those ambitious students who approached a large healthcare facility representative.
“Michala took that initiative, and she was so impressive,” says Ruiz, who had been working to form an externship and employment partnership with the medical facility. “They agreed to come on site to test all of our students because they have a lot of sites and could accommodate all of our 40 externs, when that time comes.”
Everyone seemed very impressed with SJVC’s students and the level of training and experience they were provided in their programs.
“We also had one of the Sierra View District Hospital Board of Directors members checking us out who thinks we will be able to have a great partnership,” says Ruiz.
The new Porterville campus is very proud of its business and medical career training programs, as well as its students, staff and faculty.
“I hope that the community sees what wonderful programs SVJC offers and that will help gain more extern positions in the community,” says Marshall.
SJVC looks forward to many years of contributing well-trained professionals to local business and industry.