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YPIC keeps up with demand for training
The Yuma Private Industry Council is helping far more unemployed people than usual, but it does not foresee turning anyone away for lack of resources.
YPIC is a private, nonprofit organization that provides services to job seekers and employers in the Yuma County labor market. Its one-stop center provides everything from a library for self-guided research to career guidance specialists who can help secure training and job placement.
According to Patrick Goetz, education and training manager for YPIC, people have been visiting the center in astounding numbers since the economic downturn.
"I think we're up to about 1,500 per month."
But locals need not worry that training sessions and services will be too packed to accommodate them, Goetz said. YPIC is doing what it can to ensure the increased demand is met, he said.
"We're actually having to open up another building to handle the influx of folks. That's going to be what we call the re-employment center."
He said he believes this new building will help YPIC to handle the large volume of people he has seen seeking services.
Goetz mentioned, though, that people could be turned away for other reasons. "We have to make sure the person is suited for the job."
For instance, some positions require a certain reading level or a clean record. YPIC can help people improve their reading skills in order to secure a job in health care, but they can't undo a drunken driving conviction for people who want to become drivers.
Also, specialists will help people find jobs that fit their individual needs and skill sets. But if they are set on pursuing a career that doesn't meet the demands of the market - like one man who came in wanting to take on a career in lion training - they might have to seek help elsewhere.
Provided that those seeking services have a Social Security number and meet specifications for the Workforce Investment Act, YPIC specialists can help them choose the right career and begin training in that field, said Goetz.
Dale Jobe said he came to the center and received the help he needed to get back in the work force.
"I would suggest it to anybody who needs help. This is the place to come."
Jobe, who lost his job in January, went to YPIC in April. Specialists advised that there were plenty of job openings for commercial drivers and with the help of California Career Schools, he began work toward a new career.
"It was actually fun," he said.
Jobe was offered a job before he even completed the training. Now he is ready to begin work again, and after six months of unemployment, he said, "I am ready."
Jobe said he couldn't believe the services that were available to him, and he has been recommending YPIC to others.
"I've got three or four of my friends who are already coming over here. These people are great."