City of Long Beach Public Information Office 411 W. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 072320-2
City of Long Beach Announces COVID-19 Health Ambassadors
New Program Provides Training, Employment Opportunities
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
Long Beach, CA - Today, July 23, more than a dozen young adults, paired with Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) staff, circulated on foot or on bikes throughout parks and beaches to observe visitor activities and capture hourly usage data, celebrate visitors compliant with physical distancing and safety protocols, educate those who are not compliant and report field issues using the GO Long Beach App. These young people, called Community Ambassadors, are the latest to be trained by Pacific Gateway, the City’s workforce agency, for COVID-19 response. The City of Long Beach saw the need early on for COVID-19 Health Ambassadors, and Pacific Gateway’s year round programs created a natural match for those youth seeking meaningful employment at a time when job opportunities were limited. “The economic downturn brought on by COVID-19 has left many young people without opportunities for employment,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Our new Health Ambassador program will provide health training to young people in our city so that they can help us keep people safe and educated about COVID-19.” The COVID-19 Health Ambassadors, of which the Community Ambassadors are a part, is made possible through a collaboration between Pacific Gateway, PRM and the Department of Health and Human Services. Pacific Gateway trained 70 Long Beach residents to fill job roles for the emerging career field of COVID-19 response. Thirteen young adults will serve as Community Ambassadors, and an additional 35 people are assigned to support COVID-19 contact tracing and testing sites, the 4BIZ hotline, the Business Restart Grant program and other City operations. Another 21 people are completing additional training specific to their COVID-19 Health Ambassador assignments. “The Health Ambassador program provides an opportunity for people to receive training and employment supporting the City’s COVID-19 response,” said Nick Schultz, Executive Director of Pacific Gateway. “Providing relevant skills and work experience is not only important to stop the spread of the pandemic, but is also part of our strategy to move toward economic recovery.” Community Ambassadors will monitor park and beach routes, and depending on need, can be shifted and expanded to other parks, beaches and open street locations. They will have a presence in these parks during peak usage days, Thursdays through Sundays, and will be identified by bright blue uniforms. “Community Ambassadors are one of the many critical aspects of comprehensive COVID-19 response because they help collect real-time data in the field that supports contact tracing, testing efforts and reopening protocols,” said Kelly Colopy, Director of Health and Human Services. “It continues to be up to each one of us to keep our community safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19, and the Community Ambassadors will help to reinforce this important message.” Those interested in learning more about the COVID-19 Heath Ambassadors program may call 562.570.3700 to add their name to an interest list, or visit the Pacific Gateway WorkPlace (4811 Airport Dr.) to fill out an interest form. Pacific Gateway operates several youth employment programs throughout the year, employing more than 800 young people from largely high-need communities. For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit: longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.