We appreciate your article June 2 promoting Phase II of the Lawndale/Galleria Hiring Project. Your coverage has allowed many more people to become aware of the available jobs.
However, we would like to clarify your suggestion that the developer, Forest City Development, and the department stores, Mervyn's and Nordstrom, have not made a "diligent effort" to hire Lawndale residents in Phase I of the project.
The developer has expended a significant amount of resources encouraging the stores to participate in the project and promoting the benefits to employers. Moreover, the developer has been actively involved in recruiting Lawndale residents. In the early stages of the project, Forest City conducted a marketing study to ascertain the number of Lawndale residents interested in working in the mall. The results of this survey are being used extensively in preparation for the opening of 160 stores in August.
The two department stores have cooperated with the developer and the city to a high degree. Nordstrom advertised in a local Lawndale paper to recruit Lawndale residents and has assisted the city and developer in compiling statistics on the project placement results. Mervyn's has cooperated in similar efforts and, in addition, provided the city with prototypical job applications to use in the city-sponsored pre-employment training workshops.
MARK WINOGROND, Director,
Department of Community Development,
City of Lawndale