Gov't retraining programs are helping unemployed

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs in health care, education, biotech and high tech will see the biggest growth in the coming years. That's valuable information for the unemployed to have.

San Jose resident Simon Wong spent 15 years as a manufacturing technician for a Sunnyvale company before being laid off.

"It was my first time I was ever laid off and first time I ever had to collect unemployment and ask for assistance. And it hurt a little bit," said Wong.

But his life turned positive when he hooked up with NOVA -- a federally funded employment and training program in Sunnyvale.

"We help people become reemployed. Many people who come to our program need to enhance their skills or their industry has left the valley and they need to reinvent themselves and make a career transition," said Kathie DeHart from NOVA.

Simon hopes to reinvest himself into a job in biotechnology. He's receiving training at BioHealth College in San Jose with financial assistance from NOVA.

"Going through the different classes and doing well, your self esteem really soars," said Wong.

It's the same training Felicia Rogers completed just a few months ago. The graduate now has a full time job in Palo Alto.

"I'm doing production assembly at Theranos and just loving the fact I've been able to transfer from BioHealth College, getting the necessary skills I needed to transfer into that industry," said Rogers.

The job market remains tight in almost all areas of employment, but BioHealth College predicts those looking for careers in biotechnology will have a bright future.

"With a high school diploma, people can come to this field, and with seven months training, they earn somewhere between $16 and $25 an hour," said Sam Shirazi, President of BioHealth College.

"We're looking at a growth rate that could be double that traditional industries. So this is a vibrant area," said Todd Johnson from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics.

The prospects may be even brighter for people in health care.

"In the sectors where we see the most growth, is the health sector. This has been true for a while and it's still continuing to be so," said Johnson.

That's good news for people like Angelique Townsend from San Jose. The subsidized training she's getting at BioHealth College could change her life.

"It's very important because I'll get certified to be a medical assistant and I think you need to have that education in today's market. It's very challenging," said Townsend.

"It's been a real solid field. Has a lot of growth in it and a lot of clinical and hospital hiring," said Shirazi.

Subsidized training for the unemployed is available in a wide range of fields. The cost ranges from free to a few thousand dollars. Additional scholarships are available from the schools as well.

"It depends upon the cost of the training and all the one stops have different funding allowances," said DeHart.

There are government sponsored job training programs in the state of California.

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