09/03/2021 05:00 PM

Sept. 3, 2021

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260


LAWA Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci joined HireLAX students, staff and program partners as part of the 10th cohort's graduation ceremony, which was held at Los Angeles Southwest College.

(Los Angeles, CA) Today, the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program celebrated the graduation of its first youth cohort, which included 21 students ages 17-24. The participants, who comprise the highly successful program's 10th cohort, are now ready to pursue construction trade apprenticeships.

"HireLAX is a program that changes lives by providing Angelinos the opportunity to take the first steps toward rewarding construction careers, and today, graduates from the very first youth-focused cohort made history as they embarked on their new professional paths in the trades," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). "These young graduates have bright futures ahead of them, and I hope those futures include helping us deliver world-class facilities at Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys airports."

Students received certificates of recognition during the ceremony at Los Angeles Southwest College, which included Brenda Shockley, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity & Chief Equity Officer; Dr. Seher Awan, Los Angeles Southwest College President; Chris Hannan, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary; Sergio Hernandez, an instructor at Los Angeles Southwest College; and CEO Erbacci.

HireLAX 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.


This youth-focused cohort included additional support and services designed to provide the students with a solid introductory foundation for future success. Students learned about financial responsibility as part of a “Banking and Credit Basics” workshop, conducted by Bank of the West, which also offered the students no-cost checking accounts. Students also received $525 weekly stipends, and those without driver's licenses were offered free driver’s education, which included test preparation, behind-the-wheel instruction and vehicle access for a future driving test with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This opportunity was made possible by support from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools.


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 79 percent of its 227 graduates into construction careers, with a majority of graduates starting as union apprenticeship participants, earning more than $8.1 million in wages. Of this group, many 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.

Earlier this year, Wilber Gonzalez, a graduate of HireLAX's third cohort, 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 nearly complete Los Angeles Airport Police Facility with Hensel Phelps.

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 and 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 hirelax@lawa.org.

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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