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Kern Back In Business: Growing Kern County means changing job market

Posted: 6:38 AM, Sep 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-02 10:05:27-04
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — To stay employed sometimes you have to adapt to adapt to the work environment. The California Department of Finance found that 75,000 people moved to Kern County this decade.

Carmen Carpio with Express Employment Professionals said, with new people comes new jobs. She said, "The service industry and the hospitality world of fast food and things like that is growing because Kern County is growing. A lot of new houses being developed a lot of new fast food corners and shopping centers growing right now too."

While Carpio said the hospitality world is easy to place people into, she also said skilled workers are harder for companies to hire.

"We are struggling right now to find skilled labors," said Carpio, "so certified mechanics, certified forklift drivers, seem to fall short of finding those types of talents at this time."

If you're looking to change from a lower paying hospitality job to one of those higher paying skilled labor positions, Cheryl Scott with the Kern County Economic Development office said, it's never too late to go back to school, "Salary potential is really good for those people who have a couple of years of education under their belt or specific training."

Shane Lopez is a recent worker who changed careers. He said he got his undergrad degree in human science to work in a nursing home. He said he has a passion for helping people, but the nursing home hours were not for him.

"I recommend being single if you're doing it," said Lopez. "Just because the fact is, if you have a family you need to dedicate those hours. You're dealing with other people's lives. You have to be willing and able to get up at zero hours."

Lopez went back to school to get a degree in business. And now he helps people by being a job placer at Express Employment Professionals.

"Able to change people's lives in a positive outcome, but it's allowed me to seek my potential growth of what I want to do as a business developer I want to go with my future," said Lopez.

If you're looking to make a change and go back to school like what Lopez did, Scott and Carpio said to ask your current or future employer about school credit options. Also two of the top paying jobs in Kern County are engineers and pharmacists.

Scott said, "If you work in one of those areas you're going to make more in Kern County than pretty much anywhere in the country. Again supply and demand. We need people to fill those positions and we don't have a huge pool of talent in those areas."

While Carpio added, "I know there are a lot of companies that are willing to pay for schooling and training. It's all about speaking up and asking. And many of the times you'll be surprised if you're a good worker, you show up to work on time and you don't call in. A lot of these employers are willing to pay for training."

Scott said companies have an advantage in Kern County versus the rest of the state, a lower cost of living.

"Our cost of living is about average for the nation, which is really unbelievable for any place in California," said Scott. "So people who want to work in but don't want the California price tag, Kern County is a great place to be."

For those looking to get their foot in the door with a seasonal job, Carpio said now is the time to start looking for a season job this holiday season.

"So October, end of September is always a good time to start applying, calling different companies, getting on their website, going in person dropping off applications. So you want to give yourself two to two and a half months before the season kicks in," said Carpio.

She continued saying, those seasonal jobs can turn into full-time jobs or can just build your resume for the future.

For more information about where you can get extra career training visit the Bakersfield Adult School's website or the Regional Occupational Center's website . You can also find a list of jobs available through Express Employment Professionals on their Types of Jobs page on their website . You can also find more jobs information on the America's Job Center's website .