HireLAX Places 100th Graduate Into Job Building the Future of LAX

08/12/2019 11:54 AM

For Immediate Release
Aug. 12, 2019

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260

LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint (left) speaks with Midfield Satellite Concourse construction workers at the project site.

(Los Angeles, CA) The HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program celebrated another milestone as the program placed its 100th graduate into a job building the future of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

"Thanks to HireLAX, one hundred local workers have earned jobs where they have a direct role in building the future of Los Angeles,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Operating Officer, LAWA. “HireLAX is a model workforce development program that lifts up local, often hard-to-employ workers and provides a path to a lifelong career.”

HireLAX is a partnership among Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. This workforce development program prepares local residents for skilled craft labor careers to support the multibillion-dollar capital improvement program at LAX.

Since September 2017, HireLAX has helped local residents – many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds – learn new skills that empower them to pursue fulfilling construction careers. The program's newest milestone reflects 100 local lives transformed by the ability to earn good wages and benefits, which further energize local economies for development today and resiliency tomorrow.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joins HireLAX graduates for working demonstrations following the the third cohort's graduation in November 2018.

HireLAX is comprised of an eight-week apprenticeship readiness curriculum that focuses not only on construction practices, but also first-aid and physical fitness instruction. Graduates, all of whom live in the City of Los Angeles or the surrounding LAX area, leave the program ready to pursue apprenticeships in the construction trades, which will allow them to be hired onto projects at LAX.

Ariana Perez is among the first 100 graduates hired through the program. Having worked from home and in offices, she knew she wanted a career in the construction trades, though she didn't know anyone to ask, or where to begin. Today, she works in the Sound and Communications Electrician trade on LAX's Midfield Satellite Concourse.

"Before HireLAX, I didn't know anyone in a trade or anything about them – period. So when I was accepted to the program, I was very excited to learn what HireLAX could offer, including learning about how to use tools and how the different trades and unions work," said Perez. "I'm thankful for the program. They taught me so much, and instilled a big sense of confidence in me and in what I do."

Having worked in a kitchen, Wilber Gonzalez was looking for a career change, and joined HireLAX's third cohort. Today, he is working on LAX's Midfield Satellite Concourse, and earning enough to travel abroad and assist his family with purchasing a home.

"I felt like the people at HireLAX really wanted to help and get us ready for new careers," said Gonzalez. "The program showed me what I needed to succeed, and the experience has been life-changing. I enjoy going to work every day. I'm living the dream."

Leopold Robateau joined HireLAX's second class after working for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. He saw an opportunity to get into the union construction trade to better provide for his family. Today, he's a heavy equipment operator on LAX's Taxiway T project, ensuring smooth aircraft operations for the thousands of guests arriving and departing the airport each day.

"I saw an advertisement for the program, and decided to make the call," said Robateau. "A lot of people say things like, 'You never know the best decision of your life until you make it,' and I'm convinced that this is one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself and my family."

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 HireLAX program was developed within the framework of LAWA’s Project Labor Agreement (PLA), which is a partnership between LAWA, its contractors and the local construction unions. The PLA 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.

The LAWA PLA and the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program are managed by Pasadena-based Parsons Corporation. 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. Nonprofits Flintridge Center, 2nd Call, and the County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles support services network provide comprehensive case management for students and graduates.

In May, the Flintridge Center received a grant of $25,000 from the Weingart Foundation, which will go directly toward supporting the center's work with HireLAX ARP, focused on helping students overcome personal and professional barriers to participation in the program and in maintaining employment thereafter.

A short video that highlights the incredible impact HireLAX has on its graduates can be viewed here. Information regarding the next HireLAX cohort will be posted to LAX's Twitter at https://twitter.com/flyLAXairport. Questions about the program can be emailed to hirelax@lawa.org.

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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