SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A job fair is being held today for dozens of employees at the Santa Maria Sears all of whom are losing their jobs when the store closes for good February 2.
Hosted by the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, local companies will be on hand looking to hire the displaced Sears workers.
The profile of affected Sears employees includes full-time, part-time, military veterans and seasonal workers.
"Unemployment is really low, so I think that there's a lot of positions that are available out there", said Alma Janabajab with the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board last week, "there's also a lot of community college education that's available so it's also a perfect time for these affected workers to take advantage of the California Training Benefits program."
The Santa Maria Sears closure is among the latest in a wave of Sears store closures across the country.
For local employers looking to hire, there's the possibility of federal and state grant funding or partial funding for "up-skilling" or training displaced workers for higher-wage jobs including vocational or on the job training where a percentage of the wages can be offset by a federal or state grant.
The job fair gets underway at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the Santa Maria Sears store in the Santa Maria Town Center Mall and is open only to Sears employees.