03/29/2024 02:00 PM


For Immediate Release
March 29, 2024

Jessica Merritt Director of Communications, LAX Development Projects
Los Angeles World Airports


HireLAX Has Maximized the Positive Local Economic Impact of LAX’s Transformation Since 2017

HireLAX's 19th Cohort. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.


(Los Angeles) Yesterday, Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA)’s HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program celebrated the graduation of its 425th pre-apprentice and 19th cohort. The milestone follows the initiative's receipt of $1 million of federal grant money in the summer of 2023, presented by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. With a mission of maximizing the positive local economic impact of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)’s multimillion-dollar transformation, HireLAX provides free training, career opportunities and ongoing mentorship for individuals from the airport’s surrounding communities. To mark the occasion of the program’s latest achievements and graduates, Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, Deputy Mayor Brenda Shockley, Board of Airport Commissioners President Karim Webb, LAWA’s Chief Executive Officer John Ackerman and Chief Development Officer Terri Mestas, President of Los Angeles Southwest College Dr. Anthony Culpepper and Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council Representative Chad Boggio convened at Los Angeles Southwest College.

“When my mom got a union job at LAX, it changed my family's life,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez. “It’s heartwarming to see the HireLAX graduates on the road to that same experience while filling critical roles in our city.”

Since its inception in 2017, HireLAX has graduated 425 students and placed 285 of them in construction and trade roles, with the graduates earning over $17.5 million collectively. Of the 27 graduates acknowledged at the latest ceremony, 19% are women, 48% are Hispanic or Latino, 48% are Black or African American and 19% have had prior Involvement with the criminal justice system. Each of them is now ready to pursue and flourish in construction and trade careers.

“As we invest billions of dollars to transform our airports, we can also transform lives through new economic pathways and local investment,” said John Ackerman, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “HireLAX uplifts members of our communities by providing them with family-supporting wages and rewarding jobs, while also helping us meet our need for skilled labor to modernize our airports.”

A key program within LAWA’s growing number of inclusivity initiatives – and one that is creating a template for how to authentically engage with and support communities – HireLAX has gained attention in California and beyond. In 2022, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg held a roundtable discussion with HireLAX graduates. During his conversations, Secretary Buttigieg and learned first-hand how HireLAX provides life-changing opportunities that also help to meet LAWA's critical need for trained construction workers.

HireLAX represents a collaboration between LAWA, Los Angeles Southwest College and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. Together, these partners ready students for their future careers through a free eight-week training that focuses on construction best practices, mathematics, physical education, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and other relevant subjects. LAWA’s inclusion-driven procurement model requires contractors performing work on LAWA projects to meet or exceed 30% local hire participation and the HireLAX program creates a pipeline for Angelenos to earn these jobs.

LAWA's CEO John Ackerman with HireLAX Graduates Christina Moreno, Chrystal Pineda and Kwanisha Russell. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.

Developed within the framework of LAWA's Project Labor Agreement (PLA), HireLAX 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, placing a special emphasis on 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.

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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