A budget cut of $1.5 million to Las Positas College this semester was the reason for the elimination of five classified positions, including both the Work-Based Learning Coordinator and the Career and Transfer Center Coordinator.
Board of Trustees member Carlo Vecchiarelli lamented that the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is facing the worst financial crisis in his entire 44 years with the District. On June 12, the Chabot-Las Positas Board of Trustees decided to turn to employee lay-offs as a means of dealing with the state of California budget crisis.
The negative impact on LPC students has already begun.
“There were three hours of public testimony of why these programs were important,” said Leslie Gravino, the previous Work-Based Learning Coordinator and current adjunct faculty member at LPC. “I went and came up with several ideas to save money for this program, but they were rejected.”
The program Gravino refers to is called Work-Based Learning. It was built for students who were in the CalWORKs program, which was designed to help single mothers develop information technology skills. Gravino eventually brought the program to LPC and turned it into a student-run organization that repaired computers for other students, faculty members and people all over the community.
It additionally provided students with the opportunity to explore internships in the job fields they were interested in. Because of Gravino’s elimination,
however, students’ internship opportunities are now severely restricted.
“Before I could spend time helping them explore what fields they were interested in and then find employers who were interested in them and have them be part of the internship program. Now I can just help those students who already have an internship,” Gravino said.
“We know that internships are the main way to get a job these days, and if we can’t provide stu- dents the internships, then I don’t know. It’s going to greatly affect their ability to compete for very competitive jobs.”
Internships are not the only setbacks for students at LPC. With the loss of Scheanelle Green, pre- vious Career and Transfer Center Coordinator, comes an even more complex transfer process than before.
“The budget is making this process difficult in many different ways for everyone,” said Barbara Morrissey, interim Transfer Director and school counselor. “Transferring has become very complex.”
Because it is fall semester and many students are preparing to transfer, career activities have been put on the back burner in place of transfer activities.
“Basically, as Interim Transfer Director, I am covering some of (Green’s) transfer duties only, not the career activities,” Morrissey said. “It is not an ideal situation.”
“I believe the Career/ Employment opportunities are minimal at this time, but the College is trying to find a way to offer at least some of the services,” Morrissey said. “The elimination of her position means that all the services that she provided might also be eliminated.”
Staff writer William Charuhas contributed to this article.