06/11/2021 03:25 PM

June 11, 2021

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260


Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci (second from left) and Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Ron Miller (second from right) celebrate with graduates of the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program's ninth cohort and program administrators at Los Angeles Southwest College.

(Los Angeles, CA) Today, the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program celebrated the graduation of 14 students who are now ready to pursue construction trade apprenticeships as part of the highly successful program's ninth cohort.

"The HireLAX program has connected more than 170 people from the local community with rewarding career opportunities since its launch in 2017, earning graduates more than $7 million in wages to date," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "Today's 14 newest graduates have shown that they are ready to take on construction apprenticeships, and we are excited that many of them will soon be helping to build the future of LAX."

Students received certificates of recognition during a ceremony at Los Angeles Southwest College that included LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci; Policy Director for Workforce Development and Education for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Lisa Salazar; Los Angeles Southwest College President Dr. Seher Awan; Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Ron Miller; and Los Angeles Southwest College Instructor Sergio Hernandez.

The HireLAX ARP is a partnership among LAWA, Los Angeles Southwest College 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 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.

In response to the global pandemic, HireLAX restructured the course to address health and safety guidelines. Portions of the course that required in-person learning were held outdoors with students physically distanced while wearing face coverings, and activities that could be completed online were offered virtually.

Since beginning in 2017, the program has placed 81 percent of its 213 graduates into construction careers, with a majority of graduates starting as union apprenticeship participants. Of this group, 95 graduates started their construction careers on LAX projects, including the recently opened West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal as well as LAX's forthcoming Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility and Automated People Mover.

Wilber Gonzalez, a graduate of HireLAX's third cohort, recently became the first program graduate to earn the position of Journeyman with Laborers' Local 300. He began his construction career working on the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal with PCL Construction, followed by work on Granite’s Taxiway Project at Van Nuys Airport. He currently works on the forthcoming Los Angeles Airport Police Facility with Hensel Phelps.

HireLAX graduates are drawn from local communities and include many people who have faced challenges in their lives. The latest graduating class included five individuals who identify as African Americans, eight who identify as Latinos and one who identifies as Asian. Eight members of this class had prior involvement with the criminal justice system.

Of those participating in the first eight cohorts of HireLAX:

  • 23% identify as female
  • 49% identify as African American
  • 42% identify as Hispanic/Latino
  • 36.6% of graduates had some form of prior involvement with the criminal justice system

Contractors performing work on LAWA projects are expected to meet or exceed 30 percent local participation. The HireLAX program trains local residents to earn these jobs. Upon completion of the program, graduates are connected with union apprenticeship programs and contractors, so they can begin their construction careers at LAX.

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. The PLA was extended by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners for an additional 10 years, to 2030, last November.

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.

Registration is now open for the 10th HireLAX cohort, which is open exclusively to youth between ages 18 and 24. A mandatory, in-person orientation is scheduled for June 18 at 7 a.m. at Los Angeles Southwest College. Pre-registration is required. The summer training program starts July 12, 2021, and ends Sept. 3, 2021, with classes Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will receive a stipend to attend the training. For registration and more information, visit https://hirelax2021-06-18.eventbrite.com/.

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.

Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci (at podium) addresses graduates of the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program's ninth cohort at Los Angeles Southwest College.

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About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the third-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States in 2019, is in the midst of a $14.5-billion capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including an Automated People Mover (APM) train, Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility and a 12- to 15-gate Bradley West Gates addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.


In 2019, LAX served nearly 88.1 million passengers and offered an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 113 destinations in the U.S. and 1,200 weekly nonstop flights to 91 markets in 46 countries on 72 commercial airlines.


LAX generates 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 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 (LAWA), a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.


LAWA is leading the aviation industry in sustainability practices, with initiatives related to water management, energy (electricity) management, air quality, recycling and natural resources management. In 2019, LAX received Level III ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation from Airport Councils International-Europe.


LAWA is also a leader in inclusivity, operating eight programs that provide opportunities for business enterprises including local, small, minority-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged firms, and working together with community partners to offer the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program, which targets local workers to make them ready for rewarding careers in the construction trades, and the Build LAX Academy, designed to prepare small contracting businesses for success when working on projects at LAX.


LAX was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX in 2018, and was honored as the “Most Innovative Airport for Passenger Experience” in 2019 by the American Association of Airport Executives. LAX is the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to wego.com. Other recent honors have included selection as the No. 9 Best Airport (Wall Street Journal); No. 7 Best On-Time Performance for a Mega-Hub Airport (OAG); one of “The World’s Best Airports for Business Travelers” (GlobeHunters); Public-Private Partnership of the Year (P3 Bulletin); Urth Caffe, Best Airport Coffee Concession of the Year (Global FAB Awards); Innovation of the Year, Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility (ARTBA); Best Project, United Airlines Terminal 7 and 8 Redevelopment Program (Engineering News Record California); North American Public-Private Partnership Deal of the Year (IJ Global); and Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year, Automated People Mover (WTS LA).


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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