LOS ANGELES COUNTY - Completing months of planning, the public agency building the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway has launched a comprehensive program that will train 1,000 local residents for jobs.
Members of a pilot job-training class were introduced to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) Governing Board on Thursday during the debut of the Job Training and Development Program.
"The Job Training and Development Program assures that Alameda Corridor project will leave a legacy well beyond construction of the rail cargo expressway," said Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., chairman of the ACTA Governing Board. "We will be providing residents of Corridor Communities with valuable job skills that will last a lifetime."
The program will hold monthly orientation sessions for prospective job trainees. The first orientation, scheduled for March 23, is already full. Interested parties are asked to call a toll-free number for more information about eligibility for future orientation sessions. Intake and assessment centers have been set up at eight locations throughout the Corridor Communities. The toll-free information number is (877) 435-9191.
ACTA, a joint-powers authority between the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, is building a 20-mile railroad freight expressway linking the ports to the transcontinental rail yards just east of downtown Los Angeles. When completed in early-2002, the $2.4 billion project will speed the shipment of cargo and improve the flow of rail and vehicle traffic by consolidating rail lines and eliminating more than 200 street-level railroad crossings.
The Job Training and Development Program requires that the builder of the $712 million Mid-Corridor Trench - a joint venture team led by
Tutor-Saliba Corp. - provide pre-apprenticeship training to 650 local residents in construction trades. Another 350 residents will receive training in non-trade work.
Also, 30 percent of all work on the Mid-Corridor Trench must go to local residents who have completed the training program.
The program is open to residents of 60 zip codes in communities along the Corridor route, including Carson, Compton, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Rancho Dominguez, South Gate, Vernon and Wilmington.
After an initial screening at one of the eight intake centers, program applicants are invited to an orientation session, where they are assessed for training readiness in construction-related trades or non-trade work. Those that pass a series of tests are referred to a lottery, which will be used to choose about 25 job-training participants per month in construction trades. The monthly lottery is set up to ensure that program participants come from across the 60 zip codes.
Those that are not chosen in the lottery will be included in subsequent drawings. Those who do not pass tests to qualify for the lottery will be referred to other job-skill programs, such as English-as-a-Second-Language or computer classes.
"I'd be stumped if it wasn't for this training program," said Gerardo Marques of Lynwood, who is seeking a carpentry union apprenticeship after years of only sporadic work in construction. He was a member of the pilot program introduced to the Governing Board on Thursday.
Approximately 2,600 people have applied to receive job training through the ACTA program.
The program is administered by ACTA in conjunction with the Community Development Department of the City of Los Angeles Youth and Employment Services Division, and
Tutor-Saliba. Also assisting are the four Service Delivery Areas (SDAs), which include the cities of Long Beach, Carson, Lomita and Torrance, and the County of Los Angeles; the Employment Development Department; and several community-based organizations.
Funding for the $9.3 million program is coming from several sources, including:
$5 million from
Tutor-Saliba, through its contract with ACTA.
A $3.1 million grant from the state, administered by the four
$1.2 million from the state Alameda Corridor Industry and College Collaboration.
"This is truly a team effort to provide residents with job skills, benefiting not only the Alameda Corridor but also the entire region for decades to come," Svorinich said.