An article in a newspaper changed Kevin Crickenberger's life. He had no problem finding jobs, but keeping them was a challenge. After dropping out of high school, the Victorville resident found himself in a frustrating pattern of securing a job, working really hard and then getting the pink slip.
"I'd get a job, work really hard and then they'd lay me off," he said. "When I read about the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board's job training programs through Chaffey College, it changed my life."
Crickenberger read about the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board’s job training programs through Chaffey College and contacted the college. There, a career counselor helped assess his skills, identify skill shortcomings that could be strengthened through education or training, and mapped out his best career options. Federal funding helped him earn his GED and placed him in a temporary job as a crane operator at California Steel Industries (CSI), a leading manufacturing company in Fontana. Crickenberger soon applied for CSI’s entry-level electrician training program, a joint effort between the Manufacturers' Council of the Inland Empire, the Workforce Investment Board and Chaffey College.
Outcomes & Benefits
Today Crickenberger is a certified Class B electrician and is on the road to becoming a certified Class A electrician and an instrumentation specialist.
"I don't just go to work and do a job," he said. "I have a solid career now. If the Workforce Investment Board's program hadn't been available to help me find a career direction and help with funding, I wouldn't be here today."
With the current County unemployment rate at 14.2 percent, getting people a job isn't enough, according to Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board and Director of the Workforce Development Department in San Bernardino County.
“We train our County’s workforce to become skilled and build careers in our top local industries, and weather the ups and downs of the economy,” said Harmsen. “As we develop a more highly skilled workforce, we increase the standard of living in our region and make it a more attractive place for companies to do business.”
Help is available to all County residents. Over the last year, nearly 50,000 people have taken advantage of the assistance available through the County’s three Employment Resource Centers.