Projects may bring new jobs to Bay Area

March 7, 2008 6:30:03 PM PST
The governor announces Bay Area projects that could bring thousands of new jobs.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is trying to generate more jobs at the Port of Oakland. California's unemployment rate sits at 5.9-percent, and that means more than a million people are out of work.

The new jobs that the governor is talking about come from Proposition 1B funding. Taxpayers pay the interests on these bonds, but the proponents say you have to invest in infrastructure in order to attract new jobs.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says $394 million dollars in new transit projects will create 7,200 new jobs.

"Just because it's 7,200 jobs doesn't mean it's going to be a job I'm qualified for," said unemployed property manager Bardie Goodie.

At the Employment Development Department, the unemployed are not encouraged.

ABC7's Pamela Tom: "can you elaborate on the type of jobs that are going to be available and what that really means to Joe Smith from Oakland who just lost his job?"

"There are so many people that are being laid off because of the slowing down of the housing market and it's our responsibility to create those jobs," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) California.

"These are primarily engineering jobs, design jobs but the real work is done by carpenters, ironworkers, laborers, people who drive the heavy equipment and those jobs generate $10 dollars for every dollar invested," said Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D) Oakland.

Blue collar jobs, the kind found at Broadway Ford. It's where 10 years of punching a timecard is a ritual mechanic Andy Munoz doesn't mind. It means he has a job.

But Munoz and 42 other employees at the dealership found out this week they'll be out of work on April 1st.

Ford is closing this 50 year-old family business. Munoz worries how he will take care of his young family.

"As long as you don't have a job, it's going to be tough because you have to survive on unemployment," said Mechanic Andy Munoz.

Older employees say they can't yet afford retirement.

"It's a little disconcerting. I'm 57 years old. I still need to work," said sales manager Chuck Cortesi.

"Their union is going to help them in their resume writing. If any of my people need me to put in a good word here or there, we're willing to do it," said Broadway Ford owner and general manager Greg Tachiera.

Munoz says he plans to rely on his skills.

"As long as you have a skill, there's always an opportunity to do something," said Munoz.

The Department of Industrial Relations says you can learn new skills. Next week, they are launching a campaign called "I built it," which offers apprentice programs for carpentry, electrician, plumbing, or welding.

All these new projects coming to the state will need apprentices, 200,000 in the next years. So the courses are a good start to get a new job.