LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Long Beach-based program helps young job seekers land a gig.

For recent college graduate Rosa Pineda, lack of experience didn’t help while trying to standout from a long list of job applicants.

“It is confusing and hard trying to figure out how to find your first job,” she said.

Pineda turned to Hire-A-Youth.

“Hire-A-Youth and Pacific Gateway has helped me a lot with learning how to start the process and helping with my resume and just gaining more experience,” Pineda said.

KCAL9’s Stephanie Simmons reports that Hire-A-Youth is provided by Pacific Gateway Public Workforce Investment Network and is funded by federal grant money and the city of Long Beach.

Getting into the year-round program for a paid internship is easy. Job seekers apply for a work readiness credential and complete a 25-hour training session.

Then, local businesses step in.

“Right now we are in the recruitment stage of the businesses, but typically we have anywhere from 50 businesses. It just depends how many youth the businesses will take,” Vivian Shimoyama of Pacific Gateway said.

Chris Cisneros, 17, just completed his internship at Eye Land Optometry, where he honed in his customer service skills.

“The other places that I’ve gone to…they try to get you in and out quick and their attitudes aren’t really all that, but right here, the way they talk to their patients is very comforting,” he said.


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