02/28/2020 03:22 PM

Students gained skills to enter apprenticeship in construction trades.

Feb. 28, 2020

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260


Los Angeles World Airports Interim Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci addresses recent HireLAX graduates, expressing his hope to see them working on LAX projects in the near future.

(Los Angeles, CA) Surrounded by friends and family, 27 students of the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program's seventh cohort graduated today, marking the successful completion of a transformative eight-week course that will prepare them for apprenticeships in the union construction trades.

The event was held at Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC), and featured Justin Erbacci, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees President Andra Hoffman, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council (LA/OC BCTC) Executive Secretary Ron Miller and Parsons Corporation President and COO Carey Smith. Erbacci congratulated the class on its accomplishment and expressed his hope that many of them would soon begin working on LAX's $14 billion modernization program.

"Over the past two and a half years, the HireLAX program provided training that enabled more than 130 graduates to earn an apprenticeship and begin their careers in the construction industry," said Justin Erbacci, Interim CEO, LAWA. "Today's graduates are one step closer to joining an exclusive group of Angelenos who will be able to point to a transformed LAX and say, 'I built that.'"

HireLAX is a partnership between LAWA, LASC and the LA/OC BCTC. This workforce development program prepares local residents for skilled craft labor careers to support the multibillion-dollar capital improvement program at LAX through an eight-week course that trains participants in construction best practices, mathematics, physical education, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and other subjects. All participants are from the City of Los Angeles or the surrounding LAX area.

"Our HireLAX program is changing lives in positive ways by providing outstanding training and education at Los Angeles Southwest College that leads to well-paying jobs in the construction trades," LACCD Board President Andra Hoffman said. "We are proud of our partnership with LAWA, construction firms and the LA/Orange County Building Trades who are all working together to make HireLAX so successful. Working together, we are breaking down barriers for women and people of color to enter into the construction industry."

Now in its third year, the program has placed 137 of its nearly 200 graduates (including today's cohort). The placement rate of graduates from the previous six cohorts is 79.66 percent, with a majority of them starting as union apprenticeship participants. The program marked its 100th graduate placement into a construction job last August with a placement of a worker on the Midfield Satellite Concourse project at LAX. 

“We are proud to join with LAWA to bring our community members into the pipeline of good, lifetime careers,” said LA/OC BCTC Executive Secretary Ron Miller. “I’m impressed by the hard work and dedication these graduates have shown. We look forward to welcoming them into our skilled Trades.”

Like the previous cohorts, today's graduating class is diverse and inclusive of local community members who have faced challenges in their lives. The graduates of Cohort 7 include: 

  • 18.5% are female
  • 25.93% identify as African American
  • 51.85% identify as Hispanic/Latino
  • 3.7% identify as American Indian
  • 7.4% identify as other
  • 40.7% of graduates had some form of 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.

"Every member of this graduating class embodies the resiliency, ingenuity and diversity that is reflective of Los Angeles and the communities surrounding LAX," said Carey Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Parsons. "This program’s success is a testament to the leadership of Los Angeles World Airports and our key partners at the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and Los Angeles Southwest College.  Parsons is proud to continue serving the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which as of today will have graduated nearly 200 participants with 80 percent of previous graduates already placed into transformative construction careers."

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 had access to employment opportunities on construction projects, especially underrepresented minorities and women. A substantial proportion of students who participate in the HireLAX program have faced barriers to employment, 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 through 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.

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 [email protected]

The 7th graduating class of the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, with program officials.
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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 nearly 88.1 million passengers in 2019 and offers an average of nearly 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in 42 states in the U.S., and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines. LAX handled 691,257 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2019.

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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