08/04/2023 09:00 AM


For Immediate Release
August 4, 2023

LAX Public Relations
(424) 646-5260


Congresswoman Maxine Waters in Attendance to Bestow the Funding

Congresswoman Maxine Waters presents $1 million of federal grant money to LAWA to support careers in aviation-related fields. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.


(Los Angeles) Today, at a graduation ceremony for Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA)’s HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program’s 17th Cohort, Congresswoman Maxine Waters presented LAWA with a check for $1 million of federal grant money for fiscal year 2023 to train local workers for careers in aviation-related fields. The funding will support HireLAX’s mission to maximize the local economic impact of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)’s transformation through the inclusion of local workers who are reflective of the airport’s diverse surrounding community. Joining Congresswoman Waters at the ceremony held at Los Angeles Southwest College was Board of Airport Commissioners President Karim Webb, LAWA’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci, LAWA’s Chief Development Officer Terri Mestas, President of Los Angeles Southwest College Dr. Anthony Culpepper and Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Ernesto Medrano.

“I fight hard for federal funding for programs like HireLAX because I know they can change people’s lives,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “My colleagues and I in Congress were able to secure funding for 15 community projects in the 43rd District. This $1 million check to HireLAX will provide more job training opportunities in the aviation sector for those in our communities that need it the most.”

Since its inception in 2017, HireLAX has graduated 358 students and placed 255 of them in construction and trade roles, with the graduates earning over $15 million collectively. Of the 17 graduates acknowledged at today’s ceremony, 11.8% are women, 64.7% are Hispanic or Latino, 29.4% are Black or African American, 5.9% are Asian and 29.4% have had prior Involvement with the criminal justice system. Each of them is now ready to pursue and flourish in construction and trade careers.

“With LAX’s multibillion dollar transformation underway and key projects opening in 2024, the HireLAX program enables us to foster lifechanging career pathways for individuals in our surrounding communities,” said Karim Webb, President, Board of Airport Commissioners. “We thank Congresswoman Waters and Mayor Bass for their support of HireLAX and for sharing in our dedication to creating economic opportunities through our modernization.”

As a principal program of LAWA’s inclusivity initiative, and one that is creating a template for how to successfully engage with and better communities, HireLAX has gained attention in California and beyond. During his 2022 summer visit to announce funding for airport infrastructure projects from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, including a $50 million grant for LAX, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg held a roundtable discussion with HireLAX graduates and learned first-hand how the program provides life-changing opportunities that also help meet LAWA's critical need for trained construction workers.

“HireLAX will celebrate its six-year anniversary in September and the far-reaching success that the program has achieved in this time, like providing over $15 million in wages to graduates, is extraordinary,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “I look forward to the ongoing accomplishments of HireLAX and its students, especially with the $1 million FY23 Federal Grant that will allow us to continue and expand this and other aviation-related workforce development programs.”

The program represents a partnership among LAWA, Los Angeles Southwest College and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and readies students for their future careers through an eight-week training on construction best practices, mathematics, physical education, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and other relevant subjects. Contractors performing work on LAWA projects must meet or exceed 30% local hire participation and the HireLAX program creates a pipeline for local workers to earn these jobs.

The 17th Cohort of HireLAX. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.

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, in November 2020.

The LAWA PLA and the HireLAX 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, WorkSource and 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.

Interested parties can learn more about the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program at

A PDF of this press release and high-resolution images are available to download here: Credit all assets as “Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.”


About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX, the sixth-busiest airport in the world serving nearly 66 million guests in 2022, is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a proprietary, revenue-generating department of the City of Los Angeles that also governs Van Nuys Airport (VNY). As the international gateway to the Southern California region, LAX and its partners are dedicated to meeting global airport standards for customer satisfaction, safety, regional economic leadership, organizational performance and sustainability.

To better serve the millions of domestic and international guests that travel through LAX each year, the airport is undergoing a multi-billion-dollar capital improvement program to modernize its entire campus. Initiatives underway include an Automated People Mover, a Consolidated Rental Car Facility and two projects that will each add over one million square feet to the airport's existing property: Terminal 9 and Concourse 0. For more information about LAX, its transformation and its environmental, social and local workforce commitments, please visit Follow LAX on X (formally Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

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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