FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The furloughs of hundreds of Bitwise employees last Monday have made ripples into the City of Fresno and the tech community.
The City of Fresno officials are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to getting workers and the community back on its feet, with a job fair for Bitwise employees Friday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Mayor Jerry Dyer says the city is trying to follow up what he called “evil” with some good.
“I don’t believe anybody in that organization that was a paid employee knew what was happening. And there is absolutely nothing that points towards that. I believe that the folks below Jake and Irma were all victims,” he said.
Mayor Dyer says they plan to do everything necessary to help the furloughed workers land on their feet.
“We’re not just trying to give former Bitwise employees a job. We’re trying to give them a good paying job and a job that matches their passion and skillset with an employer, that they can call that a career,” said Dyer.
To get them in the right direction, the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board hosted dozens of furloughed employees for a resource workshop in partnership with the city.
Speakers and representatives provided everything from available medical and unemployment benefits to housing alternatives, stress management, and more.
“I want to say to the people who have been affected by this… We are here to help you and the very best thing you can do with this stressful circumstance is to create a plan,” said Blake Konczal, executive director of the Fresno Regional Development Board.
Konczal says they will also host a resume and interview prep workshop on the June 13 to get workers ready for the job fair.
As for the job fair on Friday, the city has already signed up 35 employers and Dyer hopes to get that number to 50.
“You know what makes Fresno unique? In times of crisis, we come together. And we’ve had a crisis. It’s a Bitwise crisis. And people in Fresno are coming together,” Dyer said.
Councilmember Mike Karbassi says, of all Bitwise’s wrongdoings, what was done to employees tops the list.
“What’s so troubling in this case is that Bitwise was able to raise a lot of money, the founders, by saying ‘we employ vulnerable populations. Yet these same vulnerable populations were victimized,” he said.
If you are an employer and would like to sign up for the job fair, you can call (559) 621-8350.