RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — The City of Rancho Cordova is spending big bucks trying to get people back to work with high-paying jobs, just as many companies are struggling to hire skilled employees.
"It's been a little harder than I expected," Haley Holsted said.
At 24-years old, Holsted has mostly had minimum wage jobs, and she lost her last one at the beginning of the pandemic.
"I actually had got a job a few days before lockdown officially started and I lost that job," Holsted said. "I was only four days into it and it broke my heart. It really did."
Now she's among dozens of people in Rancho Cordova trying out free job training programs to learn high-tech skills.
"Once you go past 50, you just can't catch up," said Fred Grote.
Grote has decades of work experience but says he needs this new tech training.
"An 8- or 10-year-old kid can do much better than someone my age now," he said.
The City of Rancho Cordova is spending one-and-a-half-million dollars sponsoring these workforce training programs. So what is the city's goal?
"Our program is really designed to help residents find high-wage or more skilled jobs," said Amanda Norton, Rancho Cordova Economic Development Manager. "We're taking a very smart and educated gamble and we hope our residents find career paths that they enjoy."
We asked what kind of workers companies need the most.
"What we're seeing is a high demand for tech skills and as we've seen from the pandemic, where everything is going remote or online, there's a high demand for digital skills," said Sadie St. Lawrence with Women In Data.
The free classes last between three and six months and are designed to give people what they need to build a successful career.
"A lot of it comes down to that confidence to be able to put yourself out there again and know that you're putting yourself out there with some of the most in-demand skills," St. Lawrence said.
The job skills program is still taking applications and is only open to people who live in Rancho Cordova.
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