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San Bernardino Valley College and California Steel Industries, Inc. Partner to Develop Mechanical Internship Program

Paid internship program for SBVC welding students provides pathway to full-time employment with one of largest Inland Empire employers

student weldingStarting this summer, San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) welding students will put their skills to the test as paid internships with a pathway to full-time employment as journey level maintenance mechanics with California Steel Industries, Inc. (CSI) of Fontana.
California Steel Industries, Inc. is the leading producer of flat rolled steel and API grade pipe steel products in Western North America with $1.5 billion in revenue. As a premier Inland Empire employer with 930 employees, CSI is set to grow nearly 50% in the next 5 to 7 years. Due to growth and retirements, CSI is expanding its internal development of Mechanical Maintenance craft employees who install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair technologically advanced manufacturing equipment.

“It is getting more difficult every year to find the highly skilled craft employees we need to keep our technologically-advanced mills running. For this reason, we developed an internal training program and partnered with SBVC through the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire to produce mechanics with the expertise required to meet our need,” said Rick Pettit, Human Resources Specialist in Technical Training & Recruiting at CSI. “While this program has been very successful, it has not been able to meet the demand due to growth and the increasing number of retirements. For that reason, California Steel decided to reach out to SBVC students in the hopes of finding interns with the aptitude and drive to forge a career as an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic.” 

On February 7th and 21st, CSI representatives will conduct information meetings from 4:30 -5:30 p.m. (February 21st meeting will be at 9:00 a.m.) interested students in Room T101 in the Technical Building. Applicants will be screened, tested and interviewed.  Between 10 and 15 SBVC students will be selected for the internship program.

“Any student who has completed WELD 045, WELD 046, a consolidating welding course, or recently earned a D1.1 Structural Welding Certificate, will be a good candidate for the program,” said SBVC Dean of Applied Technology, Transportation, and Culinary Arts, Achala Chatterjee. “This type of public-private partnership is exactly why community colleges continue to play such an important role in training the industry professionals of tomorrow.”

During the summer of 2013, the selected interns will participate in additional coursework at SBVC in the area of mechanical craft from Monday through Wednesday for eight hours each day. On Thursdays and Fridays, the students will put their skills to work at CSI. Interns will be paid $21.45/hour for the entire 40 hours per week—even the time spent in the classroom/lab. CSI employee benefits such as medical, dental, life insurance, 401(K), holiday pay and uniforms will also be available to all participants.

In the first two weeks of August, CSI will administer a test and the interns who meet the pre-determined proficiency level in mechanical craft will continue to phase two of the internship in fall 2013 and beyond. In the fall, phase two-eligible interns will spend longer hours working at CSI and less time training each week at SBVC. Additional pay increases with successful job performance and development will be paid at the beginning of December 2013, June 2014, and, if necessary, December 2014. Upon successful completion of the Mechanical Internship program, employees will be promoted to regular full-time positions as Mechanical Technician 5 at a current starting rate of $26.31/hour with a top rate of $30.90/hour.

“I’ve heard several students talk about how they don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, and that it could be life-changing,” said SBVC adjunct welding instructor Eddie Sanker.

For more information on the program, interested individuals are encouraged to contact Rick Pettit, CSI HR Specialist for Technical Recruiting and Training at or 909.350.6250.