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Local job-seekers have access to career-building resources after grand opening of employment center this week.

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The Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, 4811 Airport Plaza Dr., provides public access to a computer lab and résumé center to assist locals in developing their career-building skills.

The Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, 4811 Airport Plaza Dr., provides public access to a computer lab and résumé center to assist locals in developing their career-building skills.

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

The Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, 4811 Airport Plaza Dr., provides public access to a computer lab and résumé center to assist locals in developing their career-building skills.

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

The Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, 4811 Airport Plaza Dr., provides public access to a computer lab and résumé center to assist locals in developing their career-building skills.

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Job searching might get easier for some folks after the grand opening of a one-stop employment center that intends to educate about optimal résumé building, interviews and other relevant resources.

A three-and-a-half year transition culminated Nov. 13 during a commemorative ceremony of the Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, according to Nick Schultz, executive director of Pacific Gateway.

The WorkPlace is an employment center located at 4811 Airport Plaza Dr.– operated by agency Pacific Gateway in partnership with the California Employment Development Department– that seeks to provide career counseling, workshops and other skills for local residents.

“As you know, that requires a lot of patience on a lot of people’s parts to execute something over that much time,” Schultz told the crowd Tuesday morning. “Through it all, my staff has remained committed to customer service. They haven’t wavered, […] and I hope they are as proud of the facility and the folks that turned up in support of it as I am.”

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune
Nick Schultz, executive director of Pacific Gateway, spoke to attendees Nov. 13 at the grand opening of the Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace, an employment center operated by Pacific Gateway in partnership with the California Employment Development Department that seeks to provide career counseling, workshops and résumé-building skills for local residents.

The WorkPlace, with assistance from on-hand professional staff members, is equipped with the following:

  • A Résumé Bar that will help people create, build and revise their materials
  • A Learning Lab, which provides public access to computers and technology
  • The Huddle Rooms, where patrons can meet with a staff member to receive professional advice and outline a success plan
  • The Inspiration Theater, a waiting center that screens a series of videos that are intended to motivate the client until it is their time to speak with a professional

In addition to the aforementioned sections of the WorkPlace, the site intends to provide: job-search assistance, where specialists will assist in effective searching tools and job-posting responses, labor-market information and career-transition advice; training scholarships for those transitioning to community colleges, technical schools or other programs; workshops pertaining to financial tips, résumé building, career choices and computer skills; access to job fairs in the Long Beach and Signal Hill area; and access to Pacific Gateway’s online database.

“This is not only one of the most aesthetically-pleasing, one-stop centers you’ll walk into,” Schultz said. “But it is one of the best resources.”

Those who are interested in enrolling in any programs at the WorkPlace can visit the center at 4811 Airport Plaza Dr. or visit pacific-gateway.org.

During the event, Pacific Gateway staff led guided tours for the public.

Hilda Jurado, a program assistant and instructor for all youth training at the WorkPlace, told the Signal Tribune that services at the facility are divided between youth, ages 14 to 24, and adults, ages 24 and older. Adults have access to career specialists, although youth are not given access to such a resource when initially signing up, according to Jurado.

Jurado, along with working at the center, can also be seen at the Inspiration Theater via the many clips displayed on its screen in an attempt to motivate clients.

Carolyn Anderson, deputy division chief of the California Employment Development Department, said her team is still transitioning to the WorkPlace, but “we look forward to being here very soon.” The employment department does have a majority of its equipment on-site, however.

“We have been in partnership with Pacific Gateway for over 20 years,” she said. “And we’ll continue to provide integrated employment training and services to the Long Beach and Signal Hill communities.”

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia spoke to the crowd during the event Tuesday, calling the center a necessary resource during a time of changing economy.
“We hear all the time that the jobs that will be available to most kids in 1st and 2nd grade have not been created,” he said, adding that the WorkPlace helps address such uncertainties. “We aren’t even aware of what they’re going to look like. So, those issues are challenges that meet us every single day, and we have to be prepared to be quick, to be agile and to be able to put people into different work environments.”

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune
On Nov. 13 at the grand opening of the Long Beach/Signal Hill WorkPlace employment center, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia called the new facility an “excellent resource” and vital to the country’s changing economy and job market.

Schultz commended the work of the City of Long Beach, specifically City Manager Pat West, Assistant City Manager Tom Modica and Economic Development Director John Keisler, for their work in securing the location of the center and its resources.

“They did everything they could to ensure that this transition happened on time and on budget,” Schultz said. “[…] I say that to say we landed in a wonderful space. Three years gives you time to be frustrated, but it also gives you time to appreciate the opportunity that you have. And what we had an opportunity to do is to design a space that was uniquely for Long Beach, uniquely inspired by the direct commentary and needs of the folks we were serving. This is the way they wanted to be greeted, this is the way they wanted to access services.”

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