MSJC and Internship Lead Water Technology Major to Full-Time Job
It’s not always clear where one’s academic and career journey will lead, but MSJC Water Technology major and Menifee resident Francisco Aguirre knows he’s on the right path now.
“I originally started at MSJC in about 2010 and ended in 2011. I was working about 60 hours a week making good money as a delivery driver,” he explained.
In 2019, Aguirre decided to return to MSJC to pursue an associate degree in Water Technology. That decision has proven fruitful as Aguirre met with MSJC Career Education Counselor Matt Leyden, who helped him land an internship at Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District through the MSJC Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE) Program.
In March 2021, Aguirre’s academic dedication at MSJC and successful internship helped him earn a full-time job as a Water Reclamations Operator in Training at Eastern Municipal Water District in Perris.
“MSJC was a big part all around in me being successful,” Aguirre said. “I received a lot of support from the faculty like Instructor (Melita) Caldwell-Betties, Job Developer Carrie Tate-Meyer, and the tutors in the Menifee Valley Campus Library. I really appreciated all of that support.”
After he earns his degree in August 2021, Aguirre plans to further pursue a higher education with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.
More than 11,000 water and wastewater plant operators are employed in California, and many of them are nearing retirement age. The average annual wage statewide is nearly $70,000, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“You could earn a certificate in a little more than a year and go out and find a good-paying job with great benefits in a field that is always going to be in demand,” MSJC Water Technology Instructor Melita Caldwell-Betties said.