HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program Graduates 25 Students in Sixth Cohort

09/03/2019 04:30 PM

new release 101

For Immediate Release
Sept. 3, 2019

Charles H. Pannunzio
(424) 646-5260


(Los Angeles, CA) The HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program graduated its sixth cohort on Friday, with 25 students ready to take the next step in their construction careers after successfully completing the intensive eight-week program taught at Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC).
"Programs like HireLAX are critical to helping residents access quality union jobs and create pathways into the middle class,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, District 8, who spoke at the graduation ceremony. “Congratulations to the 25 graduates for working diligently and preparing themselves to step into construction careers. Many of these students have experienced homelessness or involvement with the criminal justice system and need opportunities like these to find stability. Thank you LAWA for working with me to prioritize the career development of qualified candidates representing communities like South LA.”

An interactive map that includes current construction projects can be found here: https://www.flylax.com/en/lax-traffic-and-ground-transportation/airport-construction-map Click on the hard hats for more information about specific lane closures and construction projects.

“Thank you so much to Mayor Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, our county supervisors and Los Angeles World Airports for their leadership in collaborating with the Los Angeles Community College District’s Southwest College to help train our students and local residents with great construction jobs," said Mike Fong, Member, LACCD Board of Trustees, who also spoke at the graduation ceremony. "This valuable partnership is providing an important career pathway for students who receive in-demand skills training at Southwest College together with on-the-job apprenticeships at LAX that lead to jobs and careers in the construction industry.”

“Through our HireLAX program we have now placed more than one hundred graduates in jobs helping build the future of LAX through a career in the construction trades,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “Los Angeles World Airports appreciates the collaboration of its many partners who make HIreLAX possible and we congratulate the newest graduates on this life changing accomplishment.”

HireLAX, which is free for participants, provides students with a training program focusing on specialized construction skills, physical fitness, OSHA regulations, CPR/first aid response, construction math, labor history, hands-on training and visits to local union apprenticeship training programs and major construction projects at LAX. Students also receive comprehensive case management funded by LAWA and provided by the nonprofits Flintridge Center and 2nd Call. Additional support services are provided by the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles at their America's Job Centers and WorkSource/YouthSource Centers.

“With the boom in construction all across the United States, many organizations are complaining of worker shortages,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary, LA/OC Building Trades Council, who spoke at the graduation. “In partnership with LAWA, the LA/OC Building Trades are proud to provide men and women from the local community a pathway to good, middle-class careers in the unionized, skilled Trades. We welcome them to our family of the affiliated local unions of the Building Trades.”

Upon graduation, LAWA coordinates employment opportunities with its construction contractors and facilitates entry into the apprenticeship programs affiliated with the construction unions signatory to the LAWA Project Labor Agreement. More than 70 percent of graduates from previous classes have already started their construction careers at LAX or other nearby projects.

This sixth cohort includes 12 graduates who live in the Airport Impact Area, communities closely surrounding LAX, with the remaining 13 from elsewhere in the City of Los Angeles. This cohort includes:

 Bryce Koonce  Bryce Koonce learned of the program through his stepfather, a diesel mechanic at LAX, who saw the announcement for HireLAX and pushed Bryce to attend. Working with 2nd Call, who teach life skills in the HireLAX program, he says that he now has a new appreciation for punctuality and really pushing himself instead of just coasting on his intellect. He now describes being late as “uncomfortable” and he can’t wait to see what he can accomplish.

 Ronzette Taylor  Ronzette Taylor was living in her car before the program began. She feared that at 34, she was too old to start a real career after years of working in retail and warehouse work. Through her participation in the program, she reconnected with an uncle who has given her a place stay while she works to secure a real career. According to Ronzette, the biggest thing she got from the class is hope.

The HireLAX program was developed within the framework of LAWA’s Project Labor Agreement, which is a partnership between LAWA, its contractors and the local construction unions. The agreement requires contractors and unions to refer local workers to the project and to conduct outreach to persons who have not previously qualified to be employed on construction projects, especially minorities and women. A substantial proportion of students who participate in the HireLAX program have experienced hardship, including homelessness or involvement with the criminal justice system. 

Sixty percent of the graduates in the sixth cohort are African American and 40 percent are Hispanic/Latino. Forty percent have had prior involvement with the criminal justice system.

Contractors performing work on LAWA projects must meet or exceed 30 percent local participation with a workforce that reflects the diversity of Los Angeles. The HireLAX program trains local residents to earn these jobs. Under the HireLAX framework, program graduates will be connected with union apprenticeship programs and contractors, so they can begin their construction careers at LAX. For example, there are multiple craft positions contractually earmarked for HireLAX graduates on the LAX Automated People Mover and Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility projects, which are part of the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program 

The LAWA Project Labor Agreement and HireLAX are managed by Pasadena-based Parsons Corporation. 

A short video that highlights the incredible impact HireLAX has on its graduates can be viewed here. Questions about the program can be emailed to hirelax@lawa.org.



Members of the sixth HireLAX cohort celebrate following their graduation on Friday morning.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to wego.com. LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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