Bakersfield Career Services Center offers choices for farmworkers

Former farmworker: 'Anything better than fields'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The government is helping interested farm workers find another profession.

For two years, Carlos Parra worked alongside his parents in the field's picking grapes.

"It's a really hard job.  Tiring, hot," said Parra.  "I'm trying to do something different."

So he went to the Career Services Center.

"Anything is better than the fields," said Parra.

The center told him about the National Farm worker Jobs Program, a federally funded program that helps farm workers and their families find jobs other than fieldwork--which often leaves them jobless during the off-season, skyrocketing the county unemployment line.

"Farm workers when they are out are out of work during the seasons, this gives them an opportunity to train and get into a full-time permanent position and gives them a chance to get out of the fields," said Danette Scarry, Career Services Center Marketing Director. 

Scarry said there are several training programs to choose from such as welding, clerical, bookkeeping, healthcare and service occupations.

Parra decided to go into barbering and is now studying at the Bakersfield Barber College.

"My goal is to finish barber school, get my license and try to open a barber shop," said Parra.

If you're interested in the National Farm workers Jobs Program, contact the Career Services Center for more information.

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