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$3.3 Million in Federal Grants Boost Employment Picture

By Josh Premako, 3/15/2012

Funding Will be Used for Workforce Training

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Crowded under the lights of the soon-to-be set of the Late Late Show at CBS Studios Wednesday, workers from a variety of growth industries listened as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced $3.3 million in workplace training grants.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was joined by Councilmembers Paul Koretz (left) 5th District, and Eric Garcetti, 13th District, at CBS Television City on Wednesday to announce the new grants. (photo by Josh Premako)

As part of the federal Workforce Investment Act, the grants are expected to fund 10 training programs for 1,000 workers in the entertainment, construction, transportation, security, finance, green technology, hospitality and healthcare fields. Los Angeles’ Workforce Investment Board oversees about $50 million in funding annually.

“We want to train the workers in the sectors where jobs are being created,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “We’re preparing people for the jobs of the future.”

In addition to comments from the mayor and other city officials, workers in several of the industries represented shared how worksource centers and training aided in their career paths.

Jihad Morgan, a stagehand with Local 33 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said he found help through Hollywood Cinema Production Resources, Inc. (CPR), that partners with West Los Angeles College to offer vocational training.

Morgan said for several years he would show up at the E3 electronic entertainment expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, trying to find freelance work. In 2010, he heard about Hollywood CPR, and his first stagehand job was on the 2012 Grammy Awards show.

The largest share of funding — $800,000 — will go to training in the transportation sector. Slated for healthcare is $600,000; $400,000 each to the entertainment and construction sectors; $365,000 for green technology; $250,000 for the security sector; and $225,000 for hospitality sector training.

“There are people that want to work, but we’ve got to make the investments,” Villaraigosa said, flanked by City Council members Eric Garcetti, 13th district, and Paul Koretz, 5th district.

 

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