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Southern California Gas Co. has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Los Angeles Urban League to support its virtual Construction Career Academy (CCA) program and pledged to hire up to 100 qualified graduates of the program who progress through the utility’s interview process.

The Construction Career Academy is accepting applicants for the no-cost, 10-week program on a rolling basis and encourages those interested in construction, mechanical, technician and engineering careers to apply.

“With many folks struggling to find work, now more than ever, the Construction Career Academy serves as a pathway to limitless opportunities in many different industries,” said Wallace Rawls, the utility’s director of Gas System Integrity & Programs and an LAUL board member.

“SoCalGas is proud to support the LA Urban League’s Construction Career Academy,” he said. “We have been working with LAUL to develop pipelines for employment for graduates at SoCalGas and elsewhere, and we expect to hire some of the hardworking men and women who complete the program.”

Michael Lawson, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, welcomed the grant funding.

“As we maintain our commitment to helping our constituents in Los Angeles’ underserved communities, we embrace and appreciate partners such as SoCalGas,” he said.

The CCA free training is aimed at increasing minority workers’ access to apprenticeship programs and career opportunities in the construction, mechanical, technical and engineering fields. The program prepares job seekers to complete and pass industry exams and go on to obtain apprenticeships and careers in a variety of industries, including utilities, transportation, logistics, energy and building trades.

“In addition to job sourcing and job placement, CCA also offers supportive services, job readiness skills and ongoing mentorship to support graduates in finding high-demand, well-paying jobs,” according to a SoCalGas statement.

According to the utility, 90 percent of CCA graduates, who had little or no prior experience in construction or utility related positions, passed industry exams and found industry employment.