YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


A Special Report: Jobs : COMMERCE : Computer Pairs Up Workers, Employers

July 11, 1993|MARY HELEN BERG

When Martha Duran went to look for a job in 1991, she stood in line at the unemployment office, but she said she felt like a number. Then she tried the city's Employment Referral Office.

Within days, the free computerized job referral service found her a job as hotel housekeeper. Today, she is a housekeeping supervisor who oversees 20 employees.

"I'd go back (to the referral office) any time I was looking for another job," Duran said. "They're very positive when I call. . . . They never say, 'We don't have any (jobs) at the moment.' "

The city-run office found jobs for 311 people last year and has placed 6,000 people since 1982, said Carlos Hernandez, city employment specialist.

"It's a vital asset to our overall social service program," said Robert Chavez, manager of the city's social service division.

The program opened with a federal grant in 1982. When the grant ran out three years ago, the city stepped in to cover the program's $120,000 budget, making it one of the few city-funded programs of its kind in the state, Chavez said.

While the program primarily serves city residents, it is free to employers and job seekers from other areas.

The recession has cut the service's job orders in half since 1989, down to an average of 545 placements per year. But the service's computer currently lists more than 60 jobs and more leads are added daily, Hernandez said.

Jobs range from janitorial and clerical positions to warehouse and management opportunities. Hourly wages range from the minimum $4.25 to $14, depending on experience, Hernandez said.

Job applicants should call the city to set up an appointment for an interview and to fill out an application. Their skills will be rated and computerized so city staff can match them with potential employers. Applicants are encouraged to call back each day to check on job opportunities, Hernandez said.

"If you come in here, you can get a job if you're just persistent," Hernandez said.

The Employment Referral Office is at 5550 Harbor St. in the North Annex Building of City Hall. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Information: (213) 887-4461.

Los Angeles Times Articles