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By Darrell Smith, Sacramento Bee
Published Monday, Mar. 07, 2011

More than two months into 2011, it remains a rough ride for many Sacramento-area job seekers.

But a local career college is reporting an increase in job placements – a small but welcome sign of hiring activity in the region.

MTI College in Sacramento has seen placements rise from 18 in September 2010 to 44 in February, with employers selecting graduates for positions in information technology, health care and other fields, say campus officials.

After an incremental gain in October, November placements rose to 37. The totals fell slightly in December and January before rising again in February.

“We’re thrilled to see things picking up – tech, paralegal, health care, general business – all across the board,” said MTI College President John Zimmerman.

“It’s not great, but it is good,” Zimmerman said of the numbers. “We’ve seen tough times. This is one of the worst,” he said.

It remains an employers’ market, said Toni Lewis, an MTI career services coordinator. Lewis included medical billers, accounting technicians and other office positions
among those in employers’ hiring plans. “They’re looking for a good amount of work history and someone who can transition easily” from task to task, she said. “Employers are looking
for the most qualified people and they’re going to be picky.”

But “the numbers tend to say (employers) are doing some hiring,” Lewis said.

Zimmerman said the increased placements are encouraging because the students were mostly displaced workers who had enrolled at the school to pick up new skills or strengthen current ones to bolster their job search.

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