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WorkSource Center to make new home on COC campus

New location will better accommodate heavy foot traffic

Posted: December 9, 2009 9:36 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Luz Nidia, of Canyon Country, looks at job postings at the Santa Clarita WorkSource Center in Saugus on Tuesday.

 
The Santa Clarita WorkSource Center sits next to a doughnut shop and across from a tattoo parlor at the back of the Soledad Plaza Shopping Center.

After making do with converted retail space for the last four years, the city is looking to move the center to a more appropriate location.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to move the WorkSource Center to the College of the Canyons University Center. The move would give WorkSource staff office space designed for their needs and save Santa Clarita money in rent, officials said.

Moving would help staff better accommodate the throngs of people coming to the center looking for jobs.

Last year, the center helped about 18,000 people; this year that number is expected to climb to about 25,000 - the most people it has ever helped, said Jason Crawford, the city's marketing and economic director.

About 90 people come to the WorkSource center every day, Crawford said, with most people going to the center multiple times, he said.

The city wants to sign a five-year lease with COC for about $250,000 dollars. All of the costs would be covered by federal grants given to the city and Goodwill Industries, a nonprofit that partners with the WorkSource Center.

Goodwill Industries, which owns the lease at the shopping center, currently gives the city office space for the center for free, Crawford said.

Goodwill Industries pays $9,000 a month to lease the space and was going to start charging the city rent, he said.

The new space will cost about $4,000 dollars a month to rent, Crawford said.

COC has more than 2,000 square feet of vacant office space in the Dr. Dianne Van Hook University Center, said Dena Maloney, founding dean of the COC Canyon Country campus.

The space is specifically designed for the WorkSource Center's needs. It will be located next to the school's Small Business Development Center and Economic Development Department, she said.

The office space also will include a reception area and computer lab, Maloney said.

"When conducting their job search, people might need to talk to a college counselor, or financial aid, if they need to go back to school to get more training," Maloney said. "People in a state of transition will be surrounded by resources."

The COC Board of Trustees has already approved the move. The next step after getting City Council's OK would be to come up with a timeline for the move, Maloney said.

The city is looking to get the WorkSource Center up and running in COC sometime in January, Crawford said.

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