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Elections are over and we can now officially add Mitt Romney to our long list of unemployed Americans. Despite who most voters may have cast their ballot for this week, one thing still on everyone’s mind is employment. But one first-generation college grad of Mexican decent, Daniel Newell, is helping literally thousands of “Millennials” get jobs —and a large number of those are Latino.
Working in the job development arm of the Career Center at San Jose State University, Newell says the center is instrumental in connecting SJSU students with some of the most highly coveted business and technology jobs in the country -in the all mighty Silicon Valley. Identifying over 10K students at the university who are recipients of financial aid, Newell says he believes that over 25 percent of those are Latino, and Newell’s goal is to be their one-stop job resource.
“I have relationships with almost every kind of employee. I understand how to help both large companies, like Cisco, Yahoo and Ebay, as well as start-ups get the our students in both paid internships and full-time jobs,” Newell says.
As a much-needed resource to companies and students, Newell acts as a kind of broker to get both parties what they need in terms of the best talent, tax incentives, business plans and resources. Students come to Newell for help to figure out what skills and interests they have, and what kinds of jobs are available and sustainable for them in their majors.
“Our plan is to help the students get an internship, an externship, or a part-time job --something to help them get the experience they need before they graduate. They need to pay down debt and not incur more. I believe if an employer can’t afford to pay interns, they shouldn’t be in business,” Newell says.
Although many universities have traditional career centers, veteran experts in business say of programs like Newell’s at SJSU, they’re the wave of the future.
“They can help these kids get their start on the exact right path. A career center like this may be a small sub-set of the bigger employment picture, but hard times in this country have created niche programs like this and I believe they’re a much-needed trend. With 25 years in financial industry, my interns have become less and less prepared. When I speak at universities I tell the kids they have to transition to the workforce before they graduate, after that it’s almost too late,” Financial Planner and Money Manager Matt Pavich of his San Diego, California company Presidential Broker says.
As for the current job market for the many Silicon Valley high-tech workers laid off in the crisis, Newell says today companies are hiring younger people for a few reasons.
“Of course these companies want to pay less, but the tech sector itself and technology is moving fast and furious, and the Millenial generation is used to this kind of instant evolution. They’re good multitaskers, they’re flexible, they’re diverse and they expect diversity. And thanks to the Internet, they’re more global. The generation before them is both harder to train and more difficult to retain,” Newell says.
Newell also shares with his students employers warnings that in order to stay competitive, they must continue to brush up on new tech trends. For example today companies are looking for experts in “Big data” and “Cyber security.”
“But the bottom line is, companies are always changing and my job is to help students get and keep a competitive edge,” Newell says.
Rebekah Sager is a writer/editor for Fox News Latino. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @rebekah_sager