EPA Job Training Program Favors Rialto Unempolyed

This week we learned of a new program that apparently came from one of Mayor Robertson’s trips to Washington DC. Mayor Robertson advocated for Rialto in an effort to bring a training institute run by the local EPA to train people to obtain jobs in the area of Perchlorate clean up. Recently the city finalized its lawsuits in the area of Perchlorate contamination and now will begin the long efforts of removing the harmful contaminate. So last Tuesday May 13th was our first glimpse of this new program presented by Councilman O’Connell. Councilman O’Connell said Tuesday that he brought this item up because of the high unemployment numbers in the local region and in Rialto being 17%. Councilman O’Connell said he wanted the rest of the City Council and the public to hear about this program even in its infant stage.

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A few things surprised people watching in the audience. First was the constant references to the opportunity being open to Rialto residents only or having first stab at the training opportunity. Second was the way people would be selected to join this training opportunity. (Blank Person Name) said that they are looking for people that would not be seen at your local job fair, not a high school graduate and not outside Rialto. (Blank Person Name) also said that they were going to put potential applicants through a stress test or boot camp of sorts which would consist of three meetings.

 

The First meeting applicants will be asked to provide documentation but not all necessary documents (Blank Person Name) is going to purposely not ask for some documentation to force the applicants to attend a second meeting simply to turn in something that could have been turned in already. The third and final meeting will be a series of skills and critical thinking tests that will be evaluated by staff and ranked. People sitting in the Audience of the council meeting Tuesday appeared to have a uneasiness with the way the program selection process is being designed.

 

A representative with Inland Empire Job Seekers an organization that assist youth and young adults with finding and keeping a job said the way the program is laid out it seems to favor a certain section of a larger community and sends the wrong message to our unemployed. First why only seek out the people without an education or someone that wouldn’t attend a local job fair? Inland Empire Job Seekers makes it clear to all that they help anyone can give you a job it’s up to you if you’re going to make an effort to succeed and keep that job or you will find yourself right back where you started. Inland Empire Job Seekers were concerned with the talk of excluding the larger work force and only offering the training to young people effected by the contaminate. Its Inland Empire Job Seekers hope that all area residents will have a fair opportunity at this training. Inland Empire Job Seekers said that there are a lot of unemployed parents with families that would jump at this opportunity. Inland Empire Job Seekers said they hoped they would be able to lend a hand in making this program a success for the Inland Empire Region.

The reaction from those in the public was mixed. Stacey from Colton said that she thought everyone should have a fair shot at the opportunity to train for much needed jobs. George from Rialto who lives in the most Northern portion of Rialto said he would like for the program facilitators to train people that would want to go to a job fair he said “we need smart people removing the chemicals from the ground. Others like Frank a local Inland Empire Educator stated that any job training was better than nothing. Councilman O’Connell said he thought that the program was a great idea and was eager to see it kick off and start reducing the 17% unemployment rate here in Rialto.

One thing was constant nobody could understand why it was necessary to “wear people down” during the selection process as stated by Michael Ltyhcott a senior analyst with Skeo Solutions the firm responsible for the implementation of this program for the EPA.

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