For employment seekers, the current job climate seems very daunting. Federal pandemic unemployment compensation just ended for millions of Americans earlier this week, and the U.S. Government’s August jobs report was weaker than expected. Add the constant barrage of COVID-19 news and related protocol changes, and new work prospects may appear dismal. In Downtown Long Beach, though, there are encouraging signs that jobs are readily available. 

To help support the community, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) just launched NOW HIRING: DTLB, a Facebook group page. While just in the early stage, the goal is to leverage DLBA’s social media reach to eventually post a large collection of local job listings that will attract a significant number of job seekers in Downtown. Potential employers must join the group to have permission to post. They can then post their available job listings following the provided example format and it will be shared within the group.

“We decided to create this group to help connect Downtown Long Beach businesses to job seekers after seeing the challenges many businesses have faced with hiring,” said Lauren Mayne, Social Media and Digital Marketing Coordinator for DLBA. “This page will serve as a transparent resource by hosting local job listings throughout Downtown for all to see.”

Downtown restaurateur Luis Navarro offered his perspective of the local employment climate: “If you look around, you can see ‘hiring’ signs in every window,” said Navarro, owner and operator of Portuguese Bend Distillery in Downtown as well as the Social List tavern near Retro Row, and Lola’s restaurants on Retro Row and in Bixby Knolls. “We can only hope that people will begin inching their way back to the workforce.”

Navarro’s experience during the pandemic is indicative of the big changes the local hospitality industry continues to face. “When the third COVID-19 shutdown struck, it broke the levy,” Navarro explained. “Employees moved on: warehouse jobs, fulfillment centers, anything they could do to put food on the table, especially in the heart of the holiday season. We’ve been limping since the reopening in February and have yet to get our staff back to full strength. Before the pandemic we employed close to 200 employees, now we have about 90.”

Navarro mentioned that the majority of his patrons want to go out and enjoy restaurants in person, as opposed to just ordering take-out. And, he added, most folks are observing COVID-19 protocols with no complaints.

The City of Long Beach has provided a list of major Long Beach employers; Several are located in Downtown and represent a variety of industries:

  • AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC is hiring in a wide range of positions, from Guest Service Associates to Interpreters and Life Support Systems Technicians.
  • LOCAL LONGSHOREMAN AND WAREHOUSE UNION has job prospects in the Long Beach Harbor. Harbor staffing was hit hard by the pandemic — part of the reason why so many cargo ships are anchored along our coast. 
  • LONG BEACH CONVENTION CENTER, which employs close to 600 people, is currently accepting applications for a variety of event-related service jobs. 
  • LONG BEACH TRANSIT is accepting applications online for a variety of positions.
  • ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL has many jobs available as well; Make sure to enter Long Beach St. Mary’s Hospital in the search bar. 

With an open mind and a “seek and ye shall find” mentality, those seeking employment in Downtown may be able to create a new, post-pandemic work construct for themselves, as local employers work at adjusting to a new employment playing field as well.