Help is out there for eager job seekers

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent for August and September, according to statistics from the California Employment Development Department. Statewide, unemployment stood at 7.5 percent, with the highest in Imperial County at 24.5 percent and the lowest in Marin County with 4.7 percent. Nearby, Nevada County’s rate was slightly lower at 6.5 percent, El Dorado County was 5.8 percent and Sacramento County was 7.7. percent. Nationwide, October’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Web site. For Placer County, the jobless rate has gone up 1 percent since January and 2 percent from the September 2007 rate of 4.9 percent. But there are opportunities out there including numerous resources locally for job seekers. That’s the word from Cindy Burris, business services representative for the Placer County Office of Economic Development. Burris monitors jobs and employment in the county and coordinates closely with the state’s Employment Development Department and the One-Stop Career Centers in Roseville and Auburn. The rise in unemployment is having an impact on demand for services, she said. “We’re seeing more people come in daily,” Burris said. “People say it is their last day, or they have just a short time left. Some say ‘I got laid off just now.’” She recommends job seekers start with a visit to a One-Stop Career Center, along with posting resume on EDD’s caljobs Web site. And they should do their homework when they find something that interests them. “Definitely they should research a company to find out how to apply,” Burris said. “For some jobs, you can only apply online.” Finding something new likely will take patience and flexibility. “There are jobs, but it may take a little longer, or it may not be the exact job they want,” she said. “For people thinking about leaving (their jobs), now is the time for research to know what direction to go.” The Golden Sierra One-Stop Career Center in Auburn offers how-to sessions several days a week and has expanded its schedule in the past few months, adding hours on Mondays and Thursdays. “We started that around July. It has been busy, too,” Jan Paul, business and employment development specialist said this week. “The extended hours are because of the volume, in part, and we were able to add some staff to help out.” At the career centers, visitors can also get information on unemployment insurance, resources and courses for resume writing and interview skills, job leads and announcements for job fairs and other hiring events. But users will need to make an appointment for registration and orientation, and must provide right-to-work documentation and a picture ID or driver’s license, Paul said. Job seekers visiting the Auburn site represent a range of industries and occupations. “We’re seeing a lot from the mortgage industry, construction and some retail,” Paul said. Despite the economy, the center is still receiving a lot of job notices, Paul said. In addition to listings that come in through fax, e-mail and other sources, she reviews numerous Web sites to glean and extract local employment opportunities. For those looking to enter another career field or boost their qualifications, Burris recommends the Regional Occupation Program — locally it is the 49er ROP. “That is a great program,” Burris said. “Cost-wise, it is the best bang for your buck for upgrading your skills.” Among ROP’s course of study are veterinary assistant, architectural design, business technology, computers, emergency medical technician, forestry, health care, marketing, medical assisting, nurse assistant, video production and sports medicine careers. “Most of the classes credits can be transferred to Sierra College,” Burris said. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay or comment at