News: XP Academy offers opportunity to younger generation
Story by Keith Hayes
BARSTOW, Calif. - The Mojave Express Logistics Academy from Barstow High School toured the Nebo side of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow recently to discover what potential career opportunities the base has to offer, once the students graduate.
Doug Kruse, a school counselor and member of the XP Academy staff, said the organization introduces Barstow High School students to careers in international trade, transportation and logistics. The XP Academy brings local business people and educators together to prepare students for the job market available to them after they graduate and educate the students on the training required to do those jobs.
Similar academies are sponsored in high schools across the country by Glendale, California-based International Trade Education Programs, Inc., Kruse noted.
During the students’ visit to the Environmental Division aboard the Nebo side of the base Nov. 28, they learned that they would need a background heavy in science including anthropology, chemistry and even accounting to apply for a position in that office.
Base Supply in Warehouse 8 introduced the Academy to the on-base office supply store and pointed out the math and computer skills needed to function in that environment.
Fire Inspector Gabrielle Hammett with the Marine Corps Fire Department explained the wide range of educational disciplines and practical skills that would be needed to become a fireman, Emergency Medical Technician or a fire inspector.
The most popular stop for the tour group was at the Military Police Station, Building 168, where a demonstration involving a police dog was staged. A heavily padded “assailant” was used to demonstrate chase, capture and holding techniques used by a dog and its handler to subdue and detain a suspect.
The speakers presenting at all jobs, disciplines and departments, without fail, stressed that the students needed a minimum of a high school diploma or a General Education Development certificate to even get a foot in the door. Add to that an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree from a two year educational institution or a bachelor’s degree from a four year university would help propel students forward in their chosen fields, giving them rank, authority and higher pay.
Tour participant David Norzagaray of Barstow said he learned that education is essential to get a good job.
“I enjoyed learning about how many jobs are at the Marine Corps Logistics Base and that they all can be obtained by doing [well] in school and going to college.”
Student Martina Martinez was surprised by the variety of employment opportunities at MCLB literally down the street from where she was born and raised.
“I really liked having the opportunities to visit many jobs in the Marine Corps. It opened my eyes more to see how many jobs and decisions we have in life.”
Kruse said the XP Academy, concentrating as it does on the vocational aspects of the job world, is more helpful to the students in the Barstow area.
“[The XP Academy] is exposing them to job opportunities right out of high school that are local. There are a higher percentage of students staying in town, so if they can get a job locally, that’s what makes the XP Academy more relevant,” Kruse said.