Allan Hancock College hosted more than 2,100 local junior high school students at its Santa Maria campus during a recent Career Carnival showcasing the school’s Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, and offering students a firsthand look at these pathways through a series of live demonstrations.

Crowds of local junior high students walk around and get information at a booth at the Career Carnival.
Local junior high students visit a booth at Hancock College’s Career Carnival on Oct. 13. Credit: Courtesy photo

Students had the opportunity to meet industry professionals and take part in several hands-on Career Carnival activities.

Earl Murray, interim project director for the AHC Career Center, stressed the importance of fostering strong connections with K-12 educational partners considering the evolving employment landscape.

“The way jobs and occupations are now, we need to continue to develop a relationship with our K-12 partners,” Murray said. “This event not only provides students with the chance to explore potential career paths but also encourages them to consider higher education opportunities as early as the eighth grade.”

“Today, we are introducing young students to the career of public service, and what they can do to give back to their community,” said Leonard Champion, Fire Academy faculty/coordinator.

The event was organized by Hancock’s Career Center, a resource hub that provides students with support, guidance, and an array of opportunities as they seek employment.

For more about resources and services offered by the Career Center, visit