CITY OF BELL
Employment Referral OfficeFifteen years ago the City of Commerce obtained a HUD grant to
assist Trammell Crow develop an area following the departure of U.S.
Steel. Because the establishment of an employment referral office to
assist displaced workers was one of the major requirements of the HUD
grant, the City of Commerce established their Employment Referral Office
(E.R.O.) Since then, the Employment Referral Office has provided a free
service to local industry in an effort to develop a solid work force by
employing local residents in local businesses. The E.R.O. has been heavily
used by local businesses and averages approximately 1,500 job orders each
year. Unfortunately, due to the limited number of E.R.O. employees, only
one third of those job orders were being filled.
In 1994, in response to
urgent community requests, the Bell Gardens City Council began researching
possible employment programs for their city. City staff were directed to
research possible programs and recommend solutions to address the high
unemployment rate within the city. Bell Gardens staff met with the
Commerce staff and the following issues were agreed upon:
Both cities entered into an
agreement to open up a satellite office of the Employment Referral Office
in Bell Gardens City Hall. Two full-time and one part-time staff members
were added to accommodate the satellite office. The Commerce office and
Bell Gardens office are connected via computer modem. Bell Gardens pays
for all expenses necessary to operate their satellite office (i.e.
salaries, computers, modem, etc.) which amounts to approximately $130,000
- Bell Gardens wished to
create an employment program in their city.
- Commerce wished to
expand their program in order to increase the number of job orders
filled each year.
- Rather than duplicate
efforts and be in competition with one another, the neighboring cities
agreed that it is in the best interest of both cities to enter into a
joint venture which is mutually beneficial to both sides.
Since the implementation
of this joint effort, the average monthly placements of the Employment
Referral Office have increased more than 50 percent. This increase in
placements has solidified the E.R.O.'s credibility within the business
community and has proven to be an inspiration to other communities who now
are seeking joint ventures with neighboring cities in their pursuit of
programs, grant opportunities, etc.
Office of the Mayor, (310) 806-7701
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The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352
Copyright ©1996, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights