Work Long Beach is for all Long Beach residents.
Even before the Coronavirus emergency, around 35% of adults were at least partly reliant on irregular employment. As businesses shutter increasing numbers of people will be seeking extra hours of work. We believe public agencies can be there for them.
As a public workforce board, Pacific Gateway already provides support, training, recruitment and data gathering for the traditional workforce. Creating jobs will always be core to our purpose but we want to extend services to breadwinners who can’t be available for regular hours of work because of other issues in their life.
To do that sustainably, we need an online platform for hourly labor. It has to be built around protections, control, stability and progression for work-seekers, plus alignment and quality for local businesses. The platform we are using was developed in British government programs. The technology is called a CEDAH (Central Database of Available Hours).
Initial videos of the CEDAH platform for our region are here.
A new labor market like this is demanding to launch. It needs an immediate supply of work-seekers and businesses. Working with philanthropic funders our team has prepared a manual on how to build this aligned supply and demand for a new market. This process was underway for Long Beach and beyond and won the US Conference of Mayors’ prize for best economic development initiative in America.
Because of the national emergency with Coronavirus, we have bought forward the launch of the Work Long Beach marketplace. Many households now need childcare, many workers trained and vetted to work with children need extra hours of work. This is our first focus but we can move into other sectors as businesses opt to use FlexMarket.
To maximize opportunities for citizens needing flexible work we are:
- Continuing dialogue with Regional Centers, City Halls, L.A. County and other public agencies who hire flexible workers (directly or indirectly).
- Ensuring the public are aware they have a locally run platform for booking childcare, homecare and other services that might be suddenly required during the health emergency.
- Engaged with businesses who use flexible labor for ad-hoc projects or peak times.
In parallel, we are exploring how public workforce services and public assistance can interface into the new platform, making sure anyone who’s struggling gets targeted support.
Many of these conversations were in hand before the emergency. But much of the demand for flexible workers lined up for Work Long Beach has been halted because of the emergency, in hospitality and events for example.
It will take time to build this new labor market to its full potential. But we currently have little sense of how long the emergency will last and what the path to recovery will look like. Work Long Beach is ready to play its part where ever there is need for flexible, motivated, quality workers.
Work Long Beach is a collaboration between Pacific Gateway Workforce Partnership, the non-profit arm of Pacific Gateway and Cambrian College, a community non-profit established by Long Beach based Cambrian Homecare.