Pacific Gateway Receives National RecognitionRelease Date: 2019-03-11
By Samantha Mehlinger
The 2015 closure of Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III manufacturing facility at the Long Beach Airport spurred Pacific Gateway, the city’s workforce development agency, to analyze the economic composition of Long Beach – who its major employers are, what industries are driving growth and the demographics of Long Beach workers. According to Pacific Gateway Executive Director Nick Schultz, this led to the discovery that at least 35% of the city’s residents were earning wages that were insufficient to meet the area’s cost of living. The revelation set in motion a series of events that ultimately led to a project to uplift this sector of the economy, developed in partnership with a British nonprofit from across the pond – an initiative that is being recognized on March 13 as the best of its kind in the nation by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo.
“When I looked at that deep economic and demographic dive, [I saw] there were a lot of people in jobs living here in Long Beach who were earning wages that weren’t sufficient for them to afford to live here,” Schultz said.
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