The Wonderful Company is being praised for preparing students for college and careers, as Kern County Supervisors look to close the growing skills gap for workers. Ricardo Esquivel from the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano told the Board Tuesday their students get college level credits in science and tech careers or liberal arts, and are supported in the effort with free meals at a full service dining hall. The Wonderful Company also gives students who complete the Ag program a crack at one-year paid internship, should they choose to work rather than pursue college. The company pairs with Employers Training Resource, which says the youth unemployment rate is 37-percent in the Central Valley.

Suzanne Grant