Leslie Diaz stands with a welding robot simulator in EvCC's new mechatronics lab.

Bilingual Career and Completion Coach at Everett Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center

By Lisa Jones, Marketing Manager, Corporate & Workforce Training

Tell us about your job

My job is to serve students throughout their higher education journey at EvCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center (AMTEC). I have the opportunity to assist students through the college admissions process and to help them stay focused to reach their overall employment goals. I also help students build their resumes and prepare for interviews. I am a recruiter and career coach, and most importantly I’m a student supporter in a complex higher education system.

What is your educational background?

I earned my degree in Sociology, double majored in Spanish and minored in Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University.

What interested you in this job?

I have the amazing opportunity to be a holistic resource to students and community members. As a Bilingual Career and Completion Coach I get to focus on recruitment, retention, completion and job placement of underrepresented students, including Latinx students. Latinx is a gender-neutral term used to refer to individuals with cultural ties to Latin America and individuals of Latin American descent. In my role I am able to provide information and tours in both English and Spanish. I am not alone in serving students. I have the support of a team to be able to make myself available at all stages of individuals’ higher education process.

What do you like most about working with mechatronics students?

My favorite part about working with mechatronics students is celebrating victories throughout their entire academic journey, from starting classes through building a resume and all the way through to program completion when they are hired as an employee or intern. The educational system can be an extremely intimidating thing for anyone. I love seeing student’s growth and self-efficacy and when they accomplish their dreams despite systemic barriers they may face. Since launching the mechatronics program in the fall, we’ve placed 14 of our graduates into internships and two into full-time jobs!

What do you want the Latinx community to know about AMTEC?

I would like for Latinx community members to know AMTEC programs are a great way to expand their skills and knowledge. At AMTEC, the skills that they already have are acknowledged and valued. Our programs are very hands-on and our instructors are student focused. We strive to be a welcoming space and student voices and participation are key to our improvement.

What is your vision for Latinx outreach in AMTEC?

My vision for Latinx outreach in AMTEC is very centered in the community’s needs. The support for our programs and students is there and we can build on it. The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, for example, has provided great support in the creation and expansion of mechatronics programs throughout the state. We also benefit from the support of our partner companies in Snohomish County.

At EvCC we take pride in listening and responding to the community. I am following this model, listening to and acknowledging the Latinx community’s needs and following their lead. I am working to expand my recruitment efforts by staying connected to the community, actively listening, attending more community events, providing information sessions in Spanish, and creating more outreach events here at AMTEC.

Learn more about EvCC’s AMTEC programs at a free information session facilitated by Leslie. Visit www.everettcc.edu/amtec for details.