Local News

Out-Of-Work Engineers Can Upgrade Their Skills With New Software

Posted April 4, 2002 7:36 a.m. EST

— For some people who were laid off when the economy soured, it is not just about finding another job. Many unemployed workers claim that they need more training first. A Virginia-based software company is giving out-of-work engineers a way to upgrade their skills.

Jim Fleet is a mechanical engineer with 25 years of experience, but he has been out of work for the last nine months.

"It's been pretty rough. There's just not the job base that it used to be," Fleet said.

Fleet now has a chance to broaden his professional base with a retraining program offered by Solidworks, a leader in 3-D computer-aided design technology.

The company is offering the use of its design software to unemployed engineers, free of charge for six months.

"The six months are going to give me more time to really get more in-depth self-training with the software, and I think it's going to make me more marketable," Fleet said.

Todd Kisner runs Trimech Solutions in Research Triangle Park that works primarily with Solidworks software. His company is even expanding its computer bank because of the amount of people coming in for training.

"We're kind of a matchmaker," Kisner said.

Fleet is hoping the computer-aided design software puts an end to the hard times he has been experiencing in the job market.

"When you get that training, it gives you the edge that you've got the training they need," Fleet said.