People left unemployed during the pandemic can receive free online training to earn certifications in the logistics industry through a new program co-hosted by the city.

The partnership between Pacific Gateway, the city’s employment agency, and Prologis, a logistics real estate company, is offering certifications in warehousing, goods movement and forklift operation.

Demand is spiking during the pandemic for workers skilled in moving goods and cargo quickly across the nation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that growth was already projected for the sector over the next few years and the pandemic has brought on an exponential increase in online shopping and to-home delivery further increasing talent needs.

“This program will help prepare thousands of people for successfully landing jobs in the logistics industry, which we know is in demand more than ever now with the growth of online shopping and delivery services,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement.

The pandemic has shuttered many businesses and has left thousands without work. The unemployment rate peaked at an unprecedented level, not seen since data collection started in 1948, in April 2020 at 14.7%, according to the Congressional Research Service. The unemployment rate has since declined to a still-elevated level last month at 6.7%, the study shows.

“As youth and adult workers grapple with this unprecedented and historic employment crisis, there is a heightened sense of urgency and focus on creating training programs aligned with hiring demand in fast-growing industries,” Nick Schultz, Pacific Gateway executive director, said in a statement. “This collaboration with the local logistics sector will deliver timely training to help workers find their next career step and develop technical and professional skills needed for in-demand careers.”

The online courses will teach job candidates the fundamentals of e-commerce, supply chain and inventory management, safety and other key skills required for logistics careers, according to a city press release.

The program is self-paced and includes about 30- to 45-minute courses that can be taken via a mobile app or on a computer and are designed to be accessible for youth and adults of all ages and education levels.

Those interested in the program, people can click here for more information.