EWDD held four Rapid Response training sessions for Dearden’s employees to assist them with finding new jobs
The City of Los Angeles EWDD’s Rapid Response Team provided an overview about applying for unemployment benefits, resources for job training and information about applying for health insurance on July 5th and 6th to 89 employees of Dearden’s, a historic Los Angeles business that is shuttering its doors in August after 108 years.

“I’m really happy that the services are out there, especially for employees that have been doing this a very long time,” said Ronny Bensimon, Chief Executive.

Bensimon said he learned about EWDD’s Rapid Response Team and transition services as a board member of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), an EWDD partner that operates one of the City’s 16 WorkSource Centers. EWDD’s Rapid Response Team provided similar training for workers who lost their jobs due to the recent closures of American Apparel earlier this year and the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel in 2016.

EWDD staff, along with representatives from the Boyle Heights WorkSource Center, the California Employment Development Department and Covered California delivered presentations in Spanish and English to staff at Dearden’s iconic showroom at 7th and Main Streets in Downtown LA.

“People thought of Dearden’s as only a furniture store,” said Raquel Bensimon, Ronny’s 83-year-old mother who devoted 57 years to the business. “We were so much more.”

Dearden’s offered many of the City’s Latino immigrants their first line of credit and along with furniture, electronics and other goods, Dearden’s provided an array of services ranging from check cashing to tax preparation. Many of the employees who received training had worked at the store for several decades.

“I hope that they can all get placed very quickly with comparable (or) even better possibilities for them,” Ronny Bensimon said.

Learn more about EWDD Business Services and WorkSource Services.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 7/3/2017. Read this issue and more.