Help for Former Gottschalks Employees

Fresno, CA It's the 7th career transition office in Fresno County dedicated to teaching people new skills that should help them land a new job. The office on East Shaw is different in that it helps professionals update their computer skills, trains them for a new job and possibly a new profession. It even provides mortgage and credit help. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said it's a rapid response program specifically designed for situations like last Friday's mass layoff at Gottschalks. Mayor Swearengin said, "The center here today is going to be a terrific one stop location where the people from the corporate office of /*Gottschalks*/ can come get help with their resume, find out what jobs are available."

Despite Fike's early start Monday, she saw 7 of her former Gottchalks co-workers there. That's when the reality hit her, she's now competing with 299 of her former colleagues for the exact same jobs. Fike said, "They all have good skills and could fit a lot of jobs that I might apply for."

Director Blake Konczal says lately people from all professional backgrounds like banking and insurance, are coming in looking for an edge in their job search. He said, "When we open our centers in the morning we have people already lined up outside the door before we open at 8."

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