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Finch Promotes Job Fairs

August 16th, 2015 · 35 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:

Mayor Bill Finch announced that Chipotle Mexican Grill and Bass Pro Shops–which are slated to open new stores at Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor later this year–will be hosting job fairs over the next two weeks.

Mayor Finch was joined by representatives from the Connecticut Department of Labor and Career Resources at a press conference announcing the job fairs on Friday, August 14.

“Bridgeport is getting better every day,” said Mayor Finch. “And, investors and job creators are taking notice. Steelpointe Harbor is finally happening. And, new jobs are resulting from the business-friendly environment we’re creating.”

Chipotle Mexican Grill–which has over 800 locations nationwide and was named by health.com as one of the healthiest restaurants in America–will be holding a job fair for its new Bridgeport location on Monday, August 17 and Monday, August 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 350 Fairfield Avenue.

In addition, Chipotle Mexican Grill will host a job fair at 999 Broad Street on Thursday, August 27.

Bass Pro Shops–which has nearly 90 locations nationwide and is listed on the Forbes.com list of best employers in America–will be hosting a job fair for its new Bridgeport location on Monday, August 17, Tuesday, August 18, and Wednesday, August 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 910 Fairfield Avenue.

Between the stores and restaurants that are slated to open on Steelpointe Harbor in 2015–Bass Pro Shops, Chipotle, Starbucks, and T-Mobile–one thousand jobs are being created in Bridgeport.

“I encourage residents looking for good paying jobs to attend these job fairs,” said Mayor Finch. “My administration has worked very hard to make Steelpointe a reality and to bring these jobs to Bridgeport.”

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35 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Pereira

    So part-time minimum-wage jobs with no benefits are defined as “good paying jobs” by Finch. I have spent a good amount of time explaining to voters Stealpointe will generate zero dollars to our municipal taxes for 20 years, they are being sued by the national Dept. of Labor for racist and discriminatory hiring practices, they are one of the three largest gun retailers in the U.S. and they have an agreement with the NRA.

    I can’t tell everyone how many voters are angered and upset when I share this information.

    • BOE SPY

      Is the answer none? There are also manager jobs. Can you tell us how many voters are angered when you tell them about Ganim stealing $800,000 from Bridgeport voters? Can you tell us how many voters are happier with these jobs Finch brought than they are with the jobs Ganim took away when he seized Steel Pointe? Is it me or do you consistently only represent one side of the truth? How much in taxes did steal pointe generate between the time Joe seized it, 20+ years ago, and Finch developed it? Never mind the cost to the city of maintaining it.

      • Maria Pereira

        BOE SPY continues to be a poor spy. As someone who worked in retail management for close to 25 years, I can assure you that there will be 15 or less management/key holder positions for a retailer that claims it will employ 300 employees.

        Ganim was never convicted of “stealing” one dime of taxpayer funds. Ganim utilized eminent domain to acquire residents’ homes. What jobs were lost through the utilization of eminent domain?

        What cost to “maintain” it? It was a vacant lot that only required cutting the grass.

        Poor Trumbull.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        BOE SPY,
        Pessimism is not really a valid argument for anything. Would you prefer everything stays the same, where the mayor’s office continues to make sweetheart deals with down-county developers who will take the money and run leaving Bridgeport’s long-suffering middle and lower classes to foot the bill? What is the point you are arguing here? This is a forum for dialogue but we really ought to be working toward solutions, not just arguing for the sake of arguing.

        The Occupy Wall Street movement was an obnoxious bunch of dirty hippies who had taken over Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan until forced out by the NYPD. Or were they? OWS brought attention to income inequality. The fact corporate CEOs take home huge bonuses of cash and stock options while the rank-and-file employees scrape by is offensive and contrary to the American ideals framed by the founding fathers.

        I’m not advocating eating the rich or the government forcefully redistributing wealth but it does seem more than a little wrong well-heeled developers are enticed to Bridgeport to build while not being required to create long-term jobs that pay a living wage. $8.25 an hour to make coffee or sell sporting goods is not going to address the city’s economic woes.

    • james mullen

      I agree, this isn’t a company that should be in Bridgeport.

    • Jimfox

      Hiring Discrimination

      “Far from being surefire, Disney World-type attractions, Bass Pro stores often fail to spur growth and do not produce outsize economic advantages for the cities that subsidize their arrival,” the Public Accountability Initiative said in its report.

      “For more than 40 years, Bass Pro and our team members have worked in partnership with the communities where we have stores to create jobs, grow the tax base, increase tourism and support local charitable causes,” Morris said in a statement sent by Dan McGinn, a company spokesman. “We believe in old fashioned values and we work hard to be good community partners.”

      Bass Pro was sued in 2011 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the company of discrimination against blacks and Hispanics in its hiring. While Morris isn’t named as a defendant, he’s accused in the complaint of condoning the hiring practices.

      • Jimfox

        ‘Forcefully Denies’

        According to the third amended complaint filed in federal court in Houston on April 15, out of 14,374 employees hired during the EEOC’s administrative investigation, only 995, or 6.9 percent, were black. Only 8.4 percent, or 1,207, were Hispanic. Its investigation period ranged from 2005 to 2009, although it varied for certain stores.

        The company denied the allegations in its formal answer to the EEOC’s complaint, and accused the agency of trying to coerce it into a settlement, according to a letter from Bass Pro’s attorneys filed in May as part of the case exhibits.

        “The company forcefully denies the allegations by the EEOC,” Bass Pro said in its statement to Bloomberg News.

        In contrast to the EEOC’s portrayal of him, Morris comes across in rare print interviews and fishing videos on the company’s website as folksy and avuncular, often dressed as if he’d just come off the dock with a stringer of Bluegills.

  • Donald Day

    Mayor Finch said residents looking for good jobs should attend these job fairs, as opposed to people looking for a job should attend. These are better-than-nothing jobs, nothing more.

    As of 2012, Bridgeport’s per capita income was $19,743, with 23% of residents living below the poverty line, according to the US Census Bureau. Mayor Finch’s jobs if paying $10 an hour would only result in a salary of $20,800 yearly. According to the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition Report a salary of $14.32 per hour is needed to afford an apartment rental in Bridgeport.

    Those jobs that can and will transform one’s life, like police and fire, are going to the suburbs, but the jobs that are better than nothing should be given to Bridgeport residents according to the Mayor. I can assure you busloads of suburbanites aren’t coming to the East Side to take these jobs from Bridgeport residents and I can also assure you suburbanites do come in droves to take these police and fire jobs, the life-transformative jobs. Mayor Finch has been passing out those transformative jobs to suburbanites for seven years with both hands and Bridgeport residents should be outraged and appalled.

    • BOE SPY

      Maybe if the Firebirds did more work in the community to prepare BPTers to pass the police or fire exams, Bpt citizens would do better on the tests. Finch did open Fairchild-Wheeler school with a first responder course. Finch is obviously taking the exact steps you would need to in order to prepare the residents of BPT for these kinds of jobs. What percent of the qualified people who applied to be cops or firemen were BPT residents? Four hundred people came to apply for the 100 police jobs.
      I am sure a fair number of people from outside BPT will be coming to Steel Pointe for these jobs. We will have to see how BPT residents fare.

      • Ron Mackey

        Crickets.

      • Maria Pereira

        Fairchild-Wheeler High School was the brainchild of a former suburban superintendent. It was developed and approved before Finch was so much as a state senator. Fairchild-Wheeler does not have a “first responders” component.

        The Bridgeport Military Academy was created under Paul Vallas, but it was really created through the work of a now-retired BBOE employee who had been advocating for it for years. She was totally opposed to calling it Bridgeport Military Academy. It was housed in a portion of Fairchild-Wheeler originally but was moved to a vacant diocese building on Boston Avenue in the fall of 2014. It is being permanently relocated to the UB swing space this fall.

        You continue to be a poor spy.

  • city hall smoker

    Finch seems stressed. He couldn’t even read his script properly.

  • Tom White

    One thousand jobs? Time for some fact checking?

  • Tom White

    Did a quick check. Bass Pro Shops website says the Bridgeport store will have 250 to 300 employees. Starbucks and Chipotle websites make no mention of Bridgeport stores. In the world of ‘Bridgeport is getting better every day,’ Finch can make any claim he wishes. Are media people doing any checking on claims such as “1,000 jobs?”

    • Steven Auerbach

      Do the number of construction jobs at Steelpointe count?

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Steven,
        Very few of the construction jobs at Steelpointe have gone to Bridgeport residents. The developers involved have their own work crews from New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, Massachusetts and elsewhere. No job fairs or local shape-ups were conducted for work on that site.

  • The Phantom

    Step right up folks and don’t trample each other trying to get those minimum-wage jobs. Way to go, Finch! You’ve really done something to be proud of.

  • donj

    I’m no Finch fan but a job is a job. If you want a high-paying job you have to have better skills, simple as that and the sad truth is a lot of Bpt residents do not have these skills. So like I said, a job is better than no job.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      “A job is a job?” 300 or so minimum-wage jobs is not going to make a dent in Bridgeport’s unemployment rate. A 40-hour week at $8.25 an hour will not provide enough income for a person to save enough to buy a home or a decent car. Hell, after buying a monthly bus pass and a week’s worth of groceries, there ain’t much left.

  • BptPorter

    donj, that statement makes no sense. High-skilled jobs attract high-skilled people. If you build it they will come. The problem is there is no real vision in this city for quality. The mayor is satisfied with crumbs. I agree, a job is a job. But for Steelpointe the problem is if the day comes where Bridgeport could attract good companies, then the city is giving away its only land for low-paying jobs. Bridgeport needs to build a middle class and stop repeating the mistakes it has done in the past by just bringing in temporary or low-pay jobs and continuing to build public and affordable housing. Bridgeport needs a middle class! If Steelpointe had a balance of low-pay jobs and high-paying jobs then I would be fine with this. But this is not what I am hearing and Finch expects us to drink the kool-aid. Give me a break, people were pushed off Steelpointe and made to leave and 30 years later the return is a cofee shop and a retail store and no taxes being paid for 30 years. Serious?

  • Robert Teixeira

    How many people do the Arena and Ballpark employ on a regular basis? These are Bridgeport’s two signature developments. They’re great for Bridgeport for generating revenue, I hope. If you really honestly want to talk about jobs you’ll have to change the subject to education. Period. No one is going to apply to these jobs who has a bachelors degree, at least not with some extreme external force at work in their life, and if anybody really wants Bridgeporters to have a high-paying job you will have to talk about the educational system and not just about more funding for it.
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=dSxElvdd0R4
    High-paying jobs need a higher education, and not everybody has the mental acuity to be educated to perform these jobs, moreover not every job needs such a high level of intellect. Think of it in a way as the job is a 16-ounce glass requirement, and your brain is the water. You don’t fill the brain with 48 ounces of water. I think there’s a balancing act to run a civilization. This business creates jobs in other parts of the world also.
    I can understand a person who has a lesser mind.
    www .youtube.com/watch?t=32&v=ExNA3m5gdts
    People can debate on how’s the best way to teach an individual, what to teach, even who to teach. But it is sad and evil when it goes beyond the requirements of game and needs of developing a society. Who gets educated for what jobs the future will provide and need. Let me share a story. When I was graduated Eighth Grade from Curiale the class picture day with our caps and gowns. (I’m not going to tell you what my mother probably had to do to get the money for me to take my pictures, we were so poor the Black people ghetto felt sorry for us.)
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=Lv8xFI32hJM
    Now at that point in my life my mental acuity, well let’s just say Forrest Gump would be considered Albert Einstein, after I came out of the bathroom to make sure I looked nice a teacher came up to me right before I was going to take my picture and told me my cap was messed up. I panicked and started adjusting my cap. Let’s just say my picture came out all fucked up. That was just pure evil. This was an adult teacher with an adult mind bullying a mentally challenged child. It’s sad to see this type of bullying or physical bullying in the street. It’s evil when it happens by those who are place in position of authority. To me it has no bearing in the game, just an evil act. In my opinion government is an apparatus to manage a society of animals called humans.
    On a level people just need to occupy their minds in a way that is less harmful to each other. Even this blog is part of that level. Every person who reads this blog probably have made up their minds on who they would like to win, and are just getting their daily informational update on the political issues regarding Bridgeport. For those who are commenting on this blog have definitely made up their minds and are using this platform as a form for venting their animalistic aggression. How did I come to this opinion? “Occam’s Razor.” I believe most if not all the comments are aggressive attacks on one opponent or another. Why do I believe they are aggressive attacks? Because their statements are not based on righteousness. How can they be righteous statements if all are guilty of the same offenses?
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=LRlbXS3oUUg
    God created all men equal.
    www .syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/red_equal_signs_gay_marriage_equality_boxes.html

  • Steven Auerbach

    I think the mayor should be commended for trying to motivate Bridgeporters to apply. As donj said, a job is a job. A beautiful new environment, young people could grow with the company. I love all the anti-Steelpointe, anti-Bass Pro rhetoric. bottom line, I expect anyone with half a brain is excited about the business and job prospects. I expect this destination to be a huge success and again non-stop construction for the next 20 years, a new hotel to be announced–these are jobs jobs jobs. I hope many go to Bridgeport residents. Especially the East End.

  • Maria Pereira

    JML has some serious competition on OIB.

    Lennie, you should have a contest on who can post the lengthiest comment.

  • Jeff Kohut

    With Bridgeport’s real unemployment rate at probably about 25%+, which translates to about 25,000 people, the 300 low-wage jobs that might be generated from Steel Point aren’t going to do very much for us. But I hope at least they all go to Bridgeporters.

  • Ron Mackey

    Job fair? First, for the tax deal these two companies are receiving, what percentage of set-asides are they providing the residents of Bridgeport? None, but we’re supposed to be happy? No way, just look at other cities like Bridgeport and you’ll see the difference plus look how long before Bridgeport gets a penny and this is good for Bridgeport? Bridgeport doesn’t market itself well, we’ll accept the first thing we see because we’re so happy someone is interested.

  • Donald Day

    My friend’s daughter went to the Klein for one of those good jobs. She said there were hundreds of people in line and all the jobs were part-time jobs. She stayed, filled out the application and left disappointed as hell, if she gets this job it’s still only a part-time minimum-wage job without a future.

    Why are Bridgeport residents still getting better-than-nothing jobs and suburbanites are getting “good jobs?”

    Bridgeport is getting better every day, Mayor Finch?

  • Quentin Dreher

    DD, the part-time jobs are a consequence of Obamacare’s 30-hour rule.

  • Donald Day

    QD, there are several things President Obama did or didn’t do I’m not happy about. What I do know is anyone who had a 401K at the end of the G. Bush presidency are a helluva lot happier now than they were then.

    Anyway, these supposed good jobs so proclaimed by Mayor Finch are like everything else he has said in the last seven years, lies, exaggerations and misconceptions.

    Why isn’t honesty an option? Look people, these jobs are the best I can get at this time, but I am working very hard to bring better jobs to Bridgeport? I’ve found people may not like what you have to say that is honest and truthful, but they will respect your honesty and you.

  • Quentin Dreher

    DD, I agree with you on the honesty. Like you said, if the politicians would just be straight up with us. Tell us, “although these are entry-level jobs now, our plan for the future is this.”

  • Steven Auerbach

    Isn’t a part-time minimum-wage job in Bridgeport on Steelpointe better than these kids commuting to Westport to work in Stop & Shop?

    High-paying jobs is a lofty goal. To belittle the Steelpointe development is a waste. The city needs to attract corporate business. These days I am not sure what constitutes a high-paying blue-color job that does not require education. It is a sad reality. We have to hope a Hotel and Convention center will improve the job situation. We need to be optimistic and focus on the bigger picture. If our imagine improves development will come. Our location is amazing!

  • Donald Day

    There isn’t a police officer or firefighter with five years on the job in Bridgeport who isn’t making less than $70,000 yearly. These are blue collar jobs that require only a high school education.

    These are the jobs Bridgeport residents haven’t been getting under Mayor Finch and David Dunn. These are the jobs that can transform the lives of Bridgeport residents, why aren’t they getting them and more importantly, why aren’t Bridgeport residents outraged about this?

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