Jun 6, 2014

Nonprofit helps more than 250 Pasadena-area residents land jobs at the Rose Bowl

By Brian Day, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

PASADENA >> More than 250 Pasadena-area residents were hired to work at the Rose Bowl this week as a new nonprofit organization teamed with the facility’s contractor to fill available positions with local job seekers.

Four-month-old nonprofit resource center New Seed, based out of the Jackie Robinson Community Center, worked with Diamond Contract Services, which provides maintenance and janitorial services for the Rose Bowl. Together the organizations will staff the iconic stadium with local residents in need of work, New Seed Secretary Tyrone Owens said.

The contractor agreed to work with New Seed and accept applicants who previously would have not been considered for hire, such as those with felony convictions.

“The jobs are needed,” Owens said. “This is a good start right here.”

More than 125 workers attended a paid orientation Tuesday, and nearly 150 more came to a second orientation Thursday.

New Seed helped spread the word, and assisted job hunters with the application process.

“Our main focus is right here in Northwest (Pasadena),” Owens said. “All are welcome, but we wanted to start here, where we grew up, and help these people get on their feet.”

Available positions being filled included staffing upcoming concerts including Jay Z and Beyonce and Rihanna and Eminem; UCLA home games, soccer exhibitions, the July 4 festivities, flea markets and other events at the Rose Bowl.

The jobs will include many opportunities for full-time employment, Owens said.

“It’s a really good thing for the community to know there’s someone reaching out,” he added.

Some of the job seekers had been out of work for months or even years. Others are already working, but sought a second job to help make ends meet.

“It helps the community. There’s a lot of people who are willing to work but don’t have the opportunity,” job seeker Danny Hernandez, 28, of Pasadena said.

By offering jobs to people who otherwise may not otherwise be able to find them, such as convicted felons wishing to get back on the right track, Owens said New Seed hopes to make a lasting positive impact on the community.

And he said he hoped the impact will spread and employers will rethink their strategies when it comes to hiring, both locally and globally.

“The goal is to have all the companies change their hiring practices,” he said.