CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Now open to the public after being closed for in-person services since March 2020, the South County Career Center is the job-seekers one-stop shop.
"This is the career center, and which we provide job seekers assistance for resumes, reviews, mock interviews...and they come here and are basically provided with assistance to look for jobs. If they are able to walk into the doors, they will be able to receive immediate assistance and can meet with a career agent," said Director of Workforce Operations Maxine Suka.
Suka, a Hawaiian native, who did her USD master’s thesis in Rwanda helping refugees has been helping San Diegans secure jobs for 10 years.
"The tables have somewhat turned in this particular economy where you have more and more employers who are putting out incentives looking for the talent. We're as the labor market before, we really had a job seekers, who were looking for all of these opportunities and employers were more selective in their hiring process,” Suka said.
The South County Career Center, located at 1111 Bay Boulevard in Chula Vista, has more empty training rooms and unused computers, where pre-pandemic, the spaces were filled with people in workshops and in job trainings.
“I searched the EDD unemployment for unemployment office, and I just saw that the office was here, so I came over here,” said Salvador Torres, who was laid off his construction job last week and is at the South County Career Center searching for a new one.
"That's my main goal is getting a construction job, I mean it pays good,” Torres said.
In the meantime, Torres was able to get assistance in setting up an account to file for unemployment.
"They have the computers here, and they have help if you have a question, and you know, not a lot of people have any access to a computers,” Torres said.
Only three of the six San Diego Workforce career centers have reopened inside Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with mask wearing required. The career staff not only lists the in-demand occupations from manufacturing to food services and biotech, but they also provide long-term labor market research.
"We want to make sure that they are being placed in employment that is sustainable for them and their families. So many jobs also have retention bonuses, the ability to work from home and the flexibility in work schedules. Then there are some folks who have been long term unemployed that come through the centers, we have also operated a variety of programs that are specifically focused on the older worker,” Suka said.
These career centers are open in-person by walk-in or by appointment, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with health and safety measures in place:
- South County Career Center: 1111 Bay Blvd. Suite E Chula Vista, CA 91911
- Metro Career Center: 4389 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA 92113
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workforce Development Center: 330 Park Blvd. Room #555 San Diego, CA 92101 (hours of operation 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.)
Workforce Partnership’s career centers are open to all San Diego County job seekers ages 16+, regardless of income and background.
WATCH RELATED: Recent graduates of the San Diego Workforce Partnership are ready to start their careers (Feb. 2021)