Skill sets factor in Clovis call center employment

CLOVIS, California

Of the six Valley counties ... Merced County reported the highest job-less rate at 16.6%. That's a one-point improvement from August. All six counties saw a slight drop in unemployment.

Hundreds of job-seekers continued to apply for work at a call center in Clovis Friday. However some applicants remain unemployed despite so many openings.

The telephone customer service company called "Ryla" is looking to add at least 100 jobs. More than 300 positions have already been filled. The application field is being divided by those who have a solid understanding of computers and those who don't.

Dozen's of job seekers filled this empty retail shop Friday hopeful a job was within reach at Ryla. A Clovis customer call center servicing clients throughout the U.S. But first applicants had to pass three tests in order to qualify for an interview.

"It's a good opportunity if you make it through," said Zena Alldredge. She did not pass the computer skills portion. Employees must be able to type at least 25 words a minute.

Alldredge: "I was very disappointed I missed by only one word." She continued, "I'm trying to make ends meet and I just need to find a job and it's just discouraging to me to lose by one word."

"I've been going through this. What are you going to do cry over it all the time?" stated Maria Jarrell who passed the typing but failed the other two sections: customer service and listening skills.

Jarrell: "My kids are already grown and out of the house but my husband's working." She went on to say that it is difficult to manage bills on one salary.

"They feel like there's a lack of resources in the home," said Andre Pecina at Fresno's Adult School.

Pecina added there are programs to help the unemployed polish their computer and communication skills.

Pecina: "There's work force investment. They provide work force connection. There's all the adult schools in the area provide that. Computers are everywhere libraries. Free to use. It's just whether the person takes the time to be able to go out there and utilize those services."

Ryla said applicants turned away can come back in six months and re-apply. There are four more days to come down here and apply, including tomorrow, Saturday.

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