Robert Garcia

Mayor

Long Beach, CA

Dr. Robert Garcia is an accomplished educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. Mayor Garcia has taken a leadership role in investing in technology, and is committed to moving Long Beach forward by attracting tech and green jobs, creating new educational partnerships, and improving city service provision. He has helped the city win a Bloomberg Philanthropy Innovation grant, and during his first term, several high profile technology companies, including Virgin Galactic, have relocated to Long Beach. He also sponsored legislation to install free WiFi in all parks and libraries.

In 2007, Garcia co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. By the time he left the company in 2013, the small business had grown into an important source for community information and has more than 45,000 online subscribers. Garcia has been named one of Long Beach's "Most Innovative Minds" by Long Beach Magazine, to the Advocate Magazine's 40 Under 40 List in 2010, and to Instinct Magazine's Leading Men in 2009. He was the recipient of the 2014 Vanguard Leadership award from Equality California.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

The shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. Labor Market threatens business productivity, international competitiveness, and economic opportunity for hundreds of thousands of Americans. According to economic forecasts, the skill gap will dramatically affect the manufacturing, trade and transport, and energy and utilities industries, a key source of revenue for the city of Long Beach, California. Internships have been well-documented as opportunities for developing skilled workers who become central asset to businesses and their local communities and increasing job placement and income for workers, yet the number of businesses offering internship opportunities has steadily declined in the last decade. 

Solution

To remain economically competitive, Long Beach aims to strengthen its talent pipeline so today’s youth are prepared for tomorrow’s economy. Mayor Robert Garcia launched the “Mayor’s Internship Challenge” in June 2015 to help double the number of available internships to students in the local economy, to increase the quality of current internship programming, and to align opportunities to the needs of the changing economy. The Internship Challenge gains its strength from a collaborative team of business, community, education and government leaders who are focused on creating sustainable slots (not one time expansion investments), strengthening institutional coordination, and emphasizing placements linked to learning and future career goals. By working together, this effort will enrich student learning through meaningful internship and other career-building opportunities, increase operational capacity for businesses, and add a competitive edge for communities and the local economy via investments in its future employees.