BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Kern County is experiencing a shortage of construction workers. According to a local construction company, that’s JTS Construction and Bakersfield College. Construction company executives said they are so far behind that they worry if they don’t fill their vacancies soon they could lose business to companies in San Diego, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Season Susko is the HR manager at JTS Construction. She said: “Right now we have a shortage. It already happened. “
She continued, “A project that typically lasts six months might take a year and a half. We need people to help us complete these projects and meet the needs of the community. “
According to Susko, JTS Construction is looking for welders, roofers, HVAC technicians and framers. And they start getting creative as they try to recruit future employees.
“We’re looking for, you know people with careers, young high school graduates looking for grants for commercial programs so we can train this workforce and get them ready to help us with all the construction we have.”
Britnee Gamble is a graduate of Bakersfield College. She began her career at JTS Construction before completing her associates degree with BC. Now Gamble said she was going back to school for more construction design training.
“As soon as I got there and saw that it was something they were using, I was like oh, BC has a class for it,” Gamble said. “And you know, I tried years ago, didn’t want to take it. But now I think it’s a necessity. “
Gamble plans to take three more courses at Bakersfield College to be better educated for their company. And she hopes that additional training will give her a better advantage in the future.
“Move up within the company. I think it’s great that this company is only family oriented. And I love that we build schools. I have a child and he’ll probably go to one of the schools we’re building.
According to Susko, entry-level positions at JTS Construction start at $ 14 to $ 16 an hour. And a construction worker can earn a six-figure salary if he works hard enough after six years.
Bakersfield College offers construction courses including a welding certificate, HVAC program, construction management program, and architectural / industrial drawing programs.
Carlos Medina is a job development specialist at Bakersfield College. He said, “Many of these programs are practical. So it’s 50% classroom and 50% practical. And 100% employer-related. “
Medina continued, “The first thing we do is help them enroll in college, and then we let them meet with a counselor or counselor. Establish their educational plans, register for these classes, eventually pass these classes and prepare them for the workforce. “
If you don’t need additional education and want to apply this week, Bakersfield College has partnered with Job Fest to host a construction job fair. Members of the Job Fest team say they should dress to impress, bring 10 to 15 résumés and copies of any certificates you have earned.
For those looking to go to school before joining the construction workers, Gamble said they should try to speak to a potential mentor who is already working on-site.
“It’s great to have someone ready to guide you,” said Gamble. “And in all honesty, BC has so many wonderful people, so many of the staff actually work in the field they teach and they are more than happy to take you where you need to go, give you advice and point it out to you the direction of the classes you need to take. “
The construction job festival will take place this Friday, August 2nd, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at 2000 K Street.
You can find more information about Job Fest on the Facebook page. For more information on the available construction contracts, please visit the JTS Constructions contact page. For more information on the list of degrees and certificates offered at Bakersfield College, please visit their website.