If you are worried that your company might be considering trimming its work force, employment experts say there are some steps you can take to prepare for it:Read the warning signs. If a company is closing branches or significantly cutting costs, be realistic and gear up to search for another job.Look at your finances. Eliminate any "extras," and make a budget for the next few months. Call your creditors and ask if you can modify payments until you are back on your feet.Update your skills. If you are working in an industry that is consolidating, consider retraining for jobs in other fields. Take community college classes or get vocational training to learn new skills.Government assistance is available for terminated workers, including unemployment benefits and health insurance plans. Contact the state Employment Development Department at 800-300-5616 or visit the department's Web site at www.edd.ca.gov.Career Resource Centers operated by the Alliance WorkNet provide job seekers with tools such as Internet access to employment sites, résumé assistance, job boards, use of fax machines, vocational training opportunities and other services. Two centers are in Modesto, 629 12th St. and 251 E. Hackett Road; and one in Turlock, 125 N. Broadway. Contact the Alliance WorkNet at 558-9675.
Other job training resources:Targeted Technology Training, or T3: free computer training for residents; 545-8393.Accelerated Careers in Technology: intense courses in manufacturing, automotive, printing or construction; 575-6945.CareerQuest: free job- placement services for qualified young adults ages 17 to 21; 558-9688.Computer Tutor: computer training classes for low-income residents; 545-5200.