Alex Ferreyra knows just how difficult it can be to find a tech job in Stockton.
"Slim pickins’, there is not a lot out here," said Ferreyra.
And the native Stocktonian should know. He is the IT System Administrator for San Joaquin County Worknet, which helps find jobs for the unemployed.
"I think I found a gem here, because there wasn't a lot. It's scarce," Ferreyra told ABC10.
According to a year-long study examining employment in Stockton, conducted by Mayor Michael Tubbs, the University of the Pacific, and Sacramento-based Valley Vision, more than half the jobs there pay only minimum wage.
A living wage in Stockton for one adult, working full-time as the sole provider with a child, is nearly $25 an hour. The solution in the Work Force Development study was, in part, training students for high tech jobs and bringing those tech companies to Stockton.
"I'm sure it will help keep those students here and keep them from leaving and crossing the Altamont and going anywhere else," said John Solis, Executive Director, San Joaquin County WorkNet.
One way of doing it is training students at the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s high-tech education “FabLab” that opened this year. Students can learn how to create arcade systems, biomimicry and more. The K-12 center teaches science, technology, engineering and math or STEM, all under one roof in an innovative and imaginative way.
"We bring in kids for field trips, teachers for trainings and see cutting-edge 21st century technology in action, so they then can be inspired and think, well, this might be a career opportunity for me," said Bret States, San Joaquin County Office of Education STEM Coordinator.
For techies like Ferreyra, if you bring the jobs, not only will they come, but they will stay.
"It's right in the middle of everything. It would make sense to have a lot of tech stuff here," said Ferreyra.
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