Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scores of Potential Employees Attend Job Fair

On the first day of a weeklong job fair to fill more than 100 positions in Long Beach Airport’s new passenger concourse, nearly a thousand people attended, seeking employment with the new concessionaire. Folks were dressed in their best, prepared with applications and resumes, hopeful and patient as they waited to be seen by hiring managers. During a time when people are anxious about employment, it is my honor to be able to contribute to the local workforce.
New hires will work in one of eight retail and restaurant spaces managed by The Paradies Shops. Employees and passengers alike will feel at home in the area as the new concourse is designed to reflect the unique character of Long Beach. Features include patios with shaded seating and a fireplace. Inside, travelers will sit comfortably in a sunlit boarding lounge, next to floor-to-ceiling windows, where they will be able to watch their plane approach the gate.    
The new jobs available in restaurant and retail are all due to the Airport’s successful modernization program. The concourse, set to open as early as December 2012 is months ahead of schedule. The opportunity to benefit the community by connecting people to much needed local jobs is invaluable because not only is it the right thing to do, but job creation attracts important revenue to our area. It is clear that Long Beach is better with an airport, than it is without.

It is humbling to learn that some job seekers began lining up three hours before the job fair started at 9 am. As a steady stream of people arrived at the Long Beach Airport Marriott and the hall filled with those looking for a job at LGB, it was a stark reminder of the enormous affect the Airport has on the community. Long Beach Airport Area Complex is directly responsible for supporting nearly 18,000 local jobs, or 9 percent of all jobs in Long Beach. Now, we’re adding more.

Not only have we been successful in working with our concessionaire to contract with local restaurants, but those local businesses must hire and prepare for a new beginning.  All of the employees at the Airport have a great opportunity to be a part of something exciting. Fresh paint will line the walls, passengers will be the first to test the seating, and employees will work with equipment which up to that point has never been used.
Our commitment is to increase customer service satisfaction and maximize the use of Airport resources.  The opportunity to welcome passengers in and out of Long Beach is a great responsibility. LGB has built a reputation of quality customer service and with a new concourse, will be known for comfort too. Long Beach Airport is a gateway in and out of the City and quite often we are the first introduction to the area. As a whole, those who work and serve at LGB, are committed to providing passengers with choices and information, and making the travel experience as hassle-free as possible.

(Mario Rodriguez is Director of Long Beach Airport. He has 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and has overseen airports from Kuwait to New Orleans. Questions about this column may be directed to Public Affairs at the Long Beach Airport 562-570-2678.)

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