Against Backdrop of Strong Local Economy, Target Holds Hiring Fair for 100 New Employees

Chain’s expansion highlights local economic growth

Published : Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 5:36 AM

Target is looking for around 100 workers to staff a new store slated to open in La Canada Flintridge this fall. And they’re doing their searching in Pasadena on Thursday and Friday.

The relatively small-scale new store, at just shy of 46,000-square-feet, is scheduled to open its doors Oct. 21. A recruitment fair is reportedly planned August 9 and 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the East Pasadena store, 3121 E. Colorado Blvd., to find employees to staff it.

Pasadena officials and business people say they aren’t surprised to see more new jobs materializing in the area.

“I would say that our local economy is strong and there is a kind of normal churn of people that are downsizing and adding workers and shifting employment,” Pasadena Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart said. “So I think that is the normal sign of a healthy economy. And we’d been in an upswing for several years now.”

“The city of Pasadena unemployment figure is at 4.1 percent, according to the State Employment Development Office, which is a strong number,” he said.

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate is at 4.8 percent, while California’s is at 4.2 percent, according to state figures. The national rate is 3.9 percent.

Adding more local perspective, “If you look at other cities, for instance, Glendale is at 4.6,” Duyshart said. “Monrovia, they’re at 3.8.”

He said a diverse job market is part of the reason for Pasadena’s relatively low unemployment.

“We have a nice variety of employment sectors, so between professionals, people that are in education, people that are in the kind of leisure category of restaurants and hotels, Duyshart said. “And then the institutions that are in Pasadena all offer another level of stability, which is nice to have.”

“For our city our size, I would say that our diversity of employment is better than great many communities, he added.

But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. A fuller picture requires “trying to figure out if those jobs are paying a living wage and if they are more career path-types of jobs, that’s another important indicator that we, of course, have to pay attention to. So this employment rate doesn’t break that down necessarily,” Duyshart said.

The new jobs at the Target store will pay at least $12 per hour, a dollar more than the minimum wage in La Canada Flintridge, according to the Pasadena Star-News. The company has also pledged to up all workers’ pay to $15 per hour by 2020.

Positions being filled will reportedly range from cashiers and baristas to team leaders and merchandisers. Those interested can apply online at

Pasadena businessman Ishmael Trone, who heads the F&M Business Center, in partnership with real estate company Unyque Financial, also has an optimistic outlook on the local economy.

“Based on the indicators that I’ve researched and the people that I do communicate on a daily basis with — business owners, CEOs, managers throughout the city of Pasadena — employment is pretty steady,” he said. ”We have more small to medium businesses opening up all the time in the city of Pasadena.”

And those business generate secondary jobs, from electricians to carpet cleaners.

“Those guys are booked up out to a month,” he said. “And they’re constantly looking for other people to help them, because we spend a lot of money on repairs (and) maintenance.”

Trone also cited Pasadena’s diverse job market and large institutions as a point of economic strength and stability.

“We still have business opportunities for us to medium size companies. When one of the restaurants closes down, another restaurant moves in,” he said.

PrideStaff staffing agency Owner and Strategic Partner John Sweet says it often seems there are more jobs than candidates.

“It’s harder and harder to find quality personnel to fill whatever role you’re looking for,” he said. “We’re at a historical low in unemployment, so that makes it a job seekers market.”

Planned improvement in public transit will only bolster the local economy, Sweet said. As it stands, it’s much easier to commute to and from west of Pasadena than east. But that may soon change.

“I’m really excited about the Gold Line and public transit options because that certainly is a better equalizer, he said.

Sweet offered some tips to help job hunters stand out from the competition.

“Know what you do well and be able to connect what you want to do with what you can do in a way that will make you a powerful candidate for job opportunities that are out there,” he said.

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