On March 25, the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program celebrated the graduation of students from its 11th cohort. The 20 new graduates are now ready to pursue construction trade apprenticeships.

“The HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program has placed 190 people on construction jobs, with graduates collectively earning more than $10 million to support their families and our local communities,” said Justin Erbacci, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) CEO. “I am continually impressed by the determination and motivation shown by our graduates, who are now ready to pursue rewarding careers building the future of our airports and our city. Congratulations to all of our graduates and their families!” 

Students received certificates of recognition during the ceremony at Los Angeles Southwest College, and heard from speakers including Brenda Shockley, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity & Chief Equity Officer; Dr. Seher Awan, Los Angeles Southwest College President; Isaac Lopez, Case Manager for the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council’s Apprenticeship Readiness Fund; Jesus Fernandez, an instructor at Los Angeles Southwest College; and 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.

All participants are from the City of Los Angeles or the surrounding LAX area.

Since the first cohort in 2017, the program has placed 76 percent of its 251 graduates into construction careers, with a majority of graduates starting as union apprenticeship participants. Of this group, 104 graduates began their construction careers on LAX projects, including the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal, as well as LAX’s forthcoming Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility and Automated People Mover.

Late last year, Reginald Malone became one of the latest HireLAX graduates to earn Journeyman Carpenter status. He started his path to a construction career as part of the program’s first cohort, almost immediately following a nearly 30-year period of incarceration. Today, he works with Skanska and regularly volunteers with the Juvenile Justice Hall.

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 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.

Questions about the program can be emailed to hirelax@lawa.org.

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