About one employable adult in six in San Bernardino County is unemployed. An office on Main Street in Hesperia aims to make a dent in those numbers.
"We're at about 14 percent" unemployment in the county Sandra Harmsen, director of the High Desert One-Stop Employment Resource Center, told Assemblyman Tim Donnelly during his tour of the facility on Wednesday.
The center offers a range of free or low-cost services aimed at helping county residents enter the workforce. It's one of three such centers across the county, powered by federal funding and working with local employers to help residents learn job-hunting skills and matching them with local jobs. It also provides access to computers, printer, faxes and telephones for those who need them in their job hunt but might not otherwise have access.
"We don't call it 'self-esteem,'" Donnelly said of one of the benefits the center provides, "We call it 'pride.' Because when you have a job, you can provide for your family."
The center's 10-person staff spends much of their time talking with area employers and helping find them suitable candidates for job openings.
"So, if I'm talking to an employer who says 'I'm looking for people,' I can send them to you?" Donnelly asked.
"We do all the screening and just send the employers the qualified applicants," said Harmsen.
"The people who walk through this door," said supervisor Janica Ownbey, "they want to be employed."
"Half of our revenues come from personal income tax," said Donnelly. "Duh, let's get people back to work. ... I'm excited about what you're doing here."
For more information about the workforce development program, visit www.CSB-WIN.org or call (760) 949-8526. The center is located at 15555 Main Street, Suite G-4, in Hesperia.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.