Sunday, 21 April 2024

New One Stop job training office opens in Clearlake

Lucas Duvall gets training and work experience with Habitat for Humanity. Photo courtesy of Lake One Stop.



CLEARLAKE – The recession has hit Lake County hard, so the Center for Business and Workforce Development has answered the growing need for job training and job search assistance with a new Clearlake One Stop office.

The new office, located at 4477 Moss Ave. in Clearlake, will host a grand opening and open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Wednesday, Jan. 27.

“The overriding reason for the new office is that the south side of the lake has always had a higher unemployment rate than the rest of Lake County,” said Richard Birk, president of the Lake One Stop Board of Directors and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

The California Employment Development Department's most recent report, released this past Friday, reported that the city of Clearlake’s unemployment rate in December reached 25.2 percent. The rate for the entire county for December was 18.5 percent.

John Ussery, manager at the new Clearlake office, said be believes that, as high as recent unemployment statistics have been, they're only conservative estimates, because they don't show those who have fallen off the unemployment rolls.

“We are seeing more and more people run out of unemployment and available work,” Ussery said.

Encouragement, food and public speakers are only some of the things that will be offered at the event.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the grand opening, whether they themselves need a job or know someone who does, said Ussery. State and local officials also will be on hand.

The new Clearlake office will not offer all of the same services as the Lakeport office, located at 55 First St., due to space and equipment limitations, Ussery said. The services not available in Clearlake will include GED preparation courses and a basic computer lab.

“The primary focus is to develop work sites to place people in positions where they get paid, on-the-job training,” he said.

Some of the businesses they are working with that may provide jobs include the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, Four Corners Builders Supply, Foods Etc., A&B Collision, Radio Shack, Habitat for Humanity, Marie’s Feed and Grain, Highlands Senior Service Center, CSM Automotive and Chic Le Chef.

Services extend to people beyond the unemployed, Ussery said. Lake One Stop also assists businesses acquire workers.

During their training period, Lake One Stop pays for new employees' wages in hopes that acquiring a new skill will help them attain a job, possibly from those who did the training. The serves are all federally funded, said Ussery.

Birk, who became president of the One Stop board last July, said he was motivated to become involved because he was seeing so many unemployed and underemployed people in the community.

“I knew we had to have an operation over there and now we’ve reached that goal. Lake One Stop is now transformed,” said Birk. “Now we are working with local businesses because without them, there’s no employment.”

Birk said the Lake One Stop offers a summer youth program where kids who come from low-income households can get some work experience and learn to work in an adult setting.

“We are on an active campaign to support local business, so buy local,” said Birk.


He also is excited to work with anyone interested in starting their own business, as well as people looking to expand their current businesses.

“We can’t stay with the old, traditional ways of just training people and hoping they’ll find jobs,” he said. “We had to think differently, which is why we are now working with the business side of things.”

E-mail Tera deVroede at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .



Danny Hammer, a teenager who is getting experience while on the job at Four Corners Builders Supply in Clearlake. Photo courtesy of Lake One Stop.

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