New Career Training for Construction Workers

February 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Looking for work in California is a job all by itself these days. Fresno County's unemployment rate in the construction field is a grim indicator of just how difficult it is to find work.You don't have to travel far in Fresno County to see the recession's mark on the construction industry. Both home and commercial building is very slow. Add a glut of foreclosed homes on the market and unemployed workers like Mark Cwok are really struggling.

Action News met Cwok at the Wrokforce Connection in Central Fresno looking for job postings. His dilemma is shared by thousands in Fresno County. Just a month ago ... in December ... the construction unemployment rate was 16.8%. A year ago it was 13.3%

Blanca Bonilla with Workforce Connection said, "We're trying to talk people into retraining to new careers."

The Workforce Connection is offering short term, entry level training programs.

"The message we're trying to send to people is you have to look at a new career, re-train. Because your jobs may not be there now or the next few years," said Bonilla.

For guys like Mark Cwok that's a tough road to consider but at the state's unemployment offices in West Fresno the advice is the same, take the job that's there.

For some that advice will pay off in a job market with few options for those with construction skills. At least for now...