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Wildfires Ignite Northern California Hiring Spree

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) --  The fires that raged across the North Bay are one of the worst disasters in California history. Forty-three people were killed, and thousands of homes were burned to the ground.

"What happened in the North Bay counties, it's sad, but it did open a lot of work," said Mike Schulte with the Carpenters Training Committee of Northern California.

Six months now since the devastating wildfires there's a real need for contractors and construction workers to help get communities like Santa Rosa, Napa and Solano counties back on their feet.

"There's obviously going to be a need for lots of tradespeople. I think we'd like to be on the forefront of providing those services for these communities to rebuild," said Neil Whitbeck.

From the Bay area to Sacramento and up to the Oregon border, headhunters are scouting for local workers to fill the dire need.

"We are looking for all kinds of people interested in the building trade, this is a very active time for the building trades and the young people are gonna be the future of this trade," said Whitbeck.

At a job fair in Fairfield on Friday, dozens of trade employers were on-hand and ready to hire.

"I'm interested in joining the business and landscaping," said Juan Madrigal, a Napa High School student eager to learn.

The requirements for the Carpenter apprenticeship is a high school diploma or GED-- and entry-level positions start at $23 to $27 an hour.

"The apprenticeship runs 4 years, students are working 48 hundred hours, and take a number of classes," said Schulte.

As communities look to rebuild, they depend on skilled workers to step up and help turn the ash and rubble into a place they can call home.

"When a natural disaster happens, it does open up the construction trade, and sadly at the loss of people who lost their homes, it's putting people to work," said Schulte.

Other positions being recruited for include engineering, drivers, and plant operations.

Another job fair was also held Saturday in Citrus Heights. For more information, visit: or

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