Burbank job center lends a helping hand

Since getting laid off roughly four years ago, Jennifer Reaves has scored a number of temporary gigs through Burbank’s self-serve job center, WorkForce Connection.

Now, the 26-year-old is looking for something more permanent.


One morning at the center, which recently returned to its old digs after they were seismic retrofitted, two job postings piqued Reaves’ interest — an opening for aquatics program coordinator and another for firefighter recruits.

The free center attracts between 800 and 1,000 job seekers a month, offering access to computers and the Internet, along with job listings ranging from customer service and accounting, to welding and truck driving, said April Moreno, who oversees the program.


An annex of the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale, WorkForce Connection offers workshops on resume-building, interviewing and cover letter-writing through the Burbank Adult School, Moreno said.

During the recession, the program saw a spike in clients, she said, and many ended up taking jobs that were either part time or for which they were overqualified.

“A lot of people were used to making a certain amount of money, and then, in turn, needing to stay ahead, had to make do with what was out there,” Moreno said.

Veronica Alvarez, a child-care provider who works part time, has been visiting the job center for roughly six months to find out what child development classes can help her advance her career.


“It’s a good resource,” the 48-year-old said. “I picked up all the fliers.”

She’d like to find a gig at a child-care facility through the school district or one of the area studios, she said.

A mother of four, Alvarez also stops by the job center to check out job opportunities for her children, two of whom attend John Burroughs High School, she said.

Kristen Howard, 49, said she discovered Burbank’s job center three weeks ago, and she said she’s already applied for 15 jobs.

She’s been out of work and hasn’t had a place to live for more than a year — her last gig was a seasonal employee for Target, she said.

She spends her time at 24-hour restaurants or local recreational centers.

The job resource center, she said, gives her “a sense of calmness” because it connects her with the resources she needs to find work.

“I just like that everything is right there,” she said.


WorkForce Connection is located at 301 E. Olive Ave., and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 5 p.m. on Fridays.