written by Tiffany Rae Johnson
Career Nexus is on a mission to alter employment protocols in the Central Valley. A new perspective, a vision, is now on the horizon to better California’s economy. This company is built around the importance of diversity in the workplace. Career Nexus offers a revolutionary practice for companies to take into consideration.
Equal opportunity applies to gender, race, age, and most importantly, social class. Poverty is a serious obstacle many people are facing. In the Central Valley, cultural diversity is abundant. It also consists of some of the poorest cities within the United States. Fresno, the largest city in the Central Valley, is home to over one million people.
Due to these circumstances, hard workers are overlooked, and are never given an opportunity to reach their full potential. Sometimes, hard workers have never owned a suit. Sometimes, hard workers have never been shown how to introduce themselves to new people. Sometimes, hard workers have never had someone believe in them. Career Nexus has a primary focus of helping these hard workers.
Kurt Madden, Career Nexus CEO, shares that through partnerships and paid internships, individuals will learn a variety of skills and receive an opportunity for “entry-level positions, creating a pathway up the career ladder.” The skills include the incorporation of new technologies in the workplace, how to network with coworkers, and maintain a healthy work environment. These aspects evolve into more than career preparation. Career Nexus is passionate about “preparing our young adults for the world of work.”
There are different areas of work offered through these paid internships. Including, “manufacturing, public sector, banking, and plans of expanding into healthcare.” Eventually, Career Nexus strives for a fleet of “1000-2000 interns per year.” This is a plausible quota as employers turn away from the traditional recruitment process.
Kurt Madden, Career Nexus CEO, clarifies the submissions of job applications are “reviewed, screened out, interviewed, then selected for the job. Two to three months down the road, it is realized that the person is not a good fit, starting the process all over again. An intern goes to work, shows up everyday, gets along with people, does the work they are asked to do, and is a good team player. By the time the internship is finished, the employer hires them…did not have to go through posting positions, applications, and interviews.” Career Nexus wants to “change the way businesses work, saving a lot of time and money.”
The City of Fresno is aligning perspectives with Career Nexus. Paid internships, such as office administration at Fresno City Hall, “field-work” for the Public Works Department, and “outdoor” opportunities with Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services Department are now available to the community.
Career Nexus is also working with a Fresno non-profit organization, VOICE, who has founded The Gladiator Welding Program. This partnership has established a blueprint for other non-profit organizations and employers to embrace.
Grants from The James Irvine Foundation and Bank of America have allowed Career Nexus to hit the ground running. The proceeds are helping fund “operational costs and paid internships.” By the time the 200 hour internship with Career Nexus is complete, “60 percent” of interns are hired on by the employer.
The vision is to “build a bridge” between today’s socio-economic classes. Career Nexus plays an important role towards a prosperous California. Through their website, CareerNexus.org, future partnerships, employers, and interns will find a “referral partner form”, “employer interest form”, and an “intern interest form.” There is a 48-hour turnaround time period for a follow up response.
About the Author
Tiffany Rae Johnson was born in 1997, in Fresno, California. She has a passion for boxing. Once a competitor, she now enjoys coaching upcoming talent in the Central Valley. She also enjoys traveling and painting. She thrives on spontaneous adventures and creative ways of viewing her surroundings.
She is a graduate of Clovis Community College, where she received her Associate’s Degree in Kinesiology. After a change in career path, she is now a senior at Fresno State University, where she is receiving her B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism in December 2022. She has experience as an SCCCD Public Relations/Marketing, Fresno State Athletics Strategic Communications/Digital Media, and CMAC TV Community Media intern.