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El Monte car dealerships add needed local jobs

January 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
We're seeing more signs that companies are hiring in Southern California.The re-surfacing of a car lot in El Monte is a sign of 40 new jobs in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in California.

Win Hyundai will soon open in El Monte.

"We think that we're at the bottom of the recession," said Jerry Heuer, Win Hyundai. "We feel pretty confident that our governments are going to get things fixed here. And we feel good that El Monte, as a city, has been super, super supportive."

Hoyer has promised the city that half the dealer's new employees will be from El Monte.

El Monte's unemployment rate is nearly 16 percent. The city of Los Angeles unemployment rate is 14.3 percent. Statewide more than one in 10 people are unemployed.

A few blocks away from the new dealership are some of the people included in those statistics.

At the Central San Gabriel Valley WorkSource office, people were looking for jobs Wednesday. In two weeks this particular center saw 1,200 people; only 200 found jobs.

"We've done a very poor job of creating jobs," said El Monte City Manager Rene Bobadilla. "We have a big industrial base that a lot of it has moved out our city. So we created a big gap in our industrial base. So we're trying to grow that economic redevelopment. We're being very aggressive in recreating that and bringing more retail and more jobs to the city of El Monte."

Ross Nissan President Jim Ross took over as president of the Nissan dealership in August, adding 15 new employees.

"The last four months of the year, which we took over the last four months of last year, we've seen a dramatic increase, about 40 percent over the previous year," said Ross.

With one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, the city of El Monte is showing some signs of progress, and that could be a symbol. Nobody is predicting a return to the pre-recession economy, but all signs are encouraging.