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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Wells Fargo Gives $50,000 To Long Beach’s ‘Everyone In’ Initiative
Wells Fargo has given a $50,000 grant to fund the next phase of Long Beach’s “Everyone In” economic inclusion initiative. With leadership by 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson, the initiative was created to increase and support minority-led businesses in the community. In Phase 1, the initiative gathered local and national data to develop inclusive programs. That data informs the implementation strategy of Phase 2, as well as the establishment of a minority-owned and woman-owned small business council, and a new community development corporation. “Wells Fargo is proud to support this innovative platform aimed at removing barriers and creating pathways to opportunity and ensuring that every resident can thrive,” Wells Fargo Region Bank President Natasha Mata stated in a press release issued by Richardson’s office.

Nationwide Job Gains Continued In January
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced today that 304,000 job gains occurred in nonfarm payroll employment sectors in January. The leisure and hospitality sector led with the most job gains, adding 74,000. Significant job growth also occurred in the education and health services sector, which added 55,000 jobs, and construction, with 52,000. According to a statement from the Associated General Contractors of America, the construction sector’s job count was 7,464,000 in January, the highest level of employment since January 2008. National average hourly wages increased by three cents last month and have risen by 3.2% over the course of the past year, according to BLS. The unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percent to 4% due to the government shutdown, which caused some furloughed workers to temporarily register for unemployment.

Long Beach Public Library Foundation Announces New Boardmembers
The Long Beach Public Library Foundation, which oversees fundraising initiatives for the city’s public library system, has announced appointments to its board of directors. Appointed to the board were Bank of America Vice President Sean Reilly, South Bay Latino Chamber of Commerce President Erick Verduzco-Vega; Englander Knabe & Allen Senior Vice President Celine Cordero; and Pacific6 Founding Partner Todd Lemmis. Boardmember Barbara Schwerin, a retired attorney and former director of development and major gifts at Loyola Law School, was elected as president. The foundation is currently overseeing a $3 million campaign supporting the new main library, which is set to open this summer.

Long Beach Councilmember Al Austin Pulls Out Of State Senate Race
Eighth District Councilmember Al Austin yesterday announced the end of his campaign for the state’s 33rd Senate District. The seat was recently vacated by former Sen. Ricardo Lara, who now serves as California Insurance Commissioner. “While I’ve been humbled by the support I’ve received for the senate campaign from communities across the region and all the endorsements from local leaders, there’s much more to accomplish at the local level and that is where I will continue my focus,” Austin stated. The special election takes place March 26.

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