Local worker hiring program – opportunities contact information now available


[download_button link=”http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/LocalHiringContactList101111-1.pdf”]Local Hiring Contact List[/download_button] [download_button link=”http://dhr.lacounty.info/”]County Jobs[/download_button]  

On October 19, 2010, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas to implement a Local Worker Hiring Program for the MLK Inpatient Tower and MLK Multi-service Ambulatory Care Center (MACC) construction projects, including a Small Business Enterprise Program for both projects.

On April 26, 2011, the Board approved a Ridley-Thomas motion to enact a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the MLK MACC project. This unprecedented agreement will create thousands of local jobs and guarantee the effective enactment of the project’s Local Worker Hiring policy.

Together, the local worker hire, small business enterprise and project labor agreement programs present an opportunity to use the County’s investment in public works as a catalyst for local job creation and revenue generation.

For information on the local hire program and the benefits of a project Labor Agreement, please view the following:


  • Local Hiring Contact List (PDF document)
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Project Fact Sheet
  • Local Hire Resource List
  • Employment Impact of Publicly Funded Projects

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1. What is a local worker hiring program?

    A Local Worker Hire Policy requires that local workers perform at least 30% of the total construction labor hours and disadvantaged local Workers perform at least 10% of total construction labor hours. (The 10% disadvantaged worker hours are part of the 30% Local Worker requirement).

    2. What is a qualified local worker?

    Under the approved policy, qualified local workers are those who reside within a five-mile radius of the project or who reside in zip codes in the County of Los Angeles where the unemployment rate exceeds 150% of the County’s average unemployment rate. In summary, the local hire policy provides County residents who reside within any of 149 zip codes to qualify for the hiring preference, and ensures that local residents benefit from the County’s investment in public works.

    3. What is a disadvantaged worker?

    A disadvantaged local worker is a qualified local worker who lives in poverty, has no high school diploma or GED, possesses a history of incarceration, has experienced protracted unemployment, is a current recipient of social services benefits, is homeless, or is a single custodial parent.

    4. What if I am a qualified worker, but do not live within the five mile radius of the job?

    Skilled workers living anywhere within the County can still qualify for construction jobs with local worker hire requirements:

     Any resident who lives in zip codes in the County of Los Angeles where the unemployment rate exceeds 150% of the County’s average unemployment rate qualifies as a “local worker;”

     The 10% “disadvantaged worker” set aside is also available to any Countyresident, regardless of where they live;

     Finally, the local worker hire policy only sets a preference for 30% of the labor hours; any qualified County resident could still be eligible for the remaining 70% of the labor hours.

    5. What is a Project Labor Agreement?

    A project labor agreement is an agreement negotiated between the project owner (or public agency) and various trade unions. It provides the means to implement the local worker policy by adding flexibility to “first in, first out” dispatch rules, making it possible to hire the targeted disadvantaged and local workers. The project labor agreement opens apprenticeship programs to local and disadvantaged workers, enabling them to advance.

    6. What are the advantages of Project Labor Agreements?

    Project labor agreements have many economic advantages. Many studies confirm direct and indirect savings result from project labor agreements as a result of increased efficiency. They standardize workplace conditions and pre-determine wages. They help eliminate work stoppages and reduce the likelihood of cost overruns. They have been shown to lead increased productivity from higher-skilled workers trained through apprenticeship programs. Indeed, local worker hiring programs with project labor agreements have enabled communities, which have never before had access to construction careers, to enter union apprenticeship programs which provide lifelong skills. Finally, project labor agreements enable public entities to really target and hire disadvantaged workers.

    7. How does this policy encourage small business enterprise?

    The local hire policy encourages small business enterprise at the MLK inpatient tower and MACC construction projects by requiring the selected builders to have small business enterprise participation throughout the life of project.

    8. Where do I learn more about local job opportunities?

    To review local worker hire status reports for each of the projects currently underway, visit http://dpw.lacounty.gov/pmd/localworker.

    For information on employment opportunities, fill out an interest form at www.hp-mlk.org or contact:

    Marques Davis

    4112 South Main Street

    Los Angeles, CA 90037

    Phone: 323-432-3955 ext 162


History made. The MTA board approves project labor agreement.

Workers in Los Angeles County witnessed a historic victory, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted in favor of negotiating an agency-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and Construction Careers Policy (CCP). Both initiatives, authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, ensure targeted hiring for thousands of construction jobs. The Metro targeted hiring provision of the agreement and the Construction Careers Policy initiatives require that at least 30% of total construction hours are from residents who live in zip codes where unemployment is high. Also, 10% of Metro jobs will be set aside for disadvantaged workers, such as those who are homeless, are high school drop-outs or who have criminal records.

“Approval of the Construction Careers Policy and Project Labor Agreement, by the Metro Board means employment for thousands of skilled residents who hunt each day to find work at a time when Los Angeles County is facing an unemployment epidemic,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. He added: “Today, the Metro Board invested in economic transit projects while securing jobs and promoting careers.” Passage of both the Metro PLA and CCP, is expected to reduce unemployment and ensure the avoidance of labor disputes.

When asked what a Metro Project Labor Agreement means, 26-year-old, Alton Wilkerson, electrician and Los Angeles resident said,

“It means a lot to me because about 85 to 95% of the jobs I’ve worked on have been project labor agreements,” He went on to say, “ PLAs offer financial stability for my family and have made a big impact on my career. Passage of the agency wide Metro Project Labor Agreement would help my community to get good paying jobs and financial stability.”

This is the third Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy initiative successfully executed under Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ tenure. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ first being Phase 2 of the Expo Light Rail, followed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (MLK-MACC).

Worker Profile: Nathan Covington

As a demolition team member for the construction of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital and second district native and current resident, Nathan Covington feels like life is going his way again.  Being a part of the demolition crew gives him an opportunity to rebuild his construction career while learning the skills in the demolition field.  “I have high hopes working here,” says Covington, 46.  “I’m learning about different machinery that I’ve never used.”  Raised by a single mother in the second district, Covington grew up with very little direction. Although he’s the youngest of three brothers, he didn’t find many positive male figures in his neighborhood. “Growing up in South Central was tough,” he says. “I didn’t have a lot of role models or guidance.” At age 13, Covington ditched school daily and was later ordered to stay in Juvenile Hall. Unwilling to learn his lesson there, he eventually returned, spending most of his teenage years either staying there or the California Youth Authority. In an effort to straighten his life after turning eighteen, he moved to New York to live with his older brother, a military police officer. But after returning to Los Angeles a year later, Covington began hanging out with the “wrong crowd” and got involved in a drug case, leading to a three-year prison sentence. He ultimately spent the next twelve years in and out of jail for a series of other crimes.

[pullquote_right]”I felt blessed because I needed employment to survive,” said Nathan Covington.[/pullquote_right]After serving his last prison sentence three years ago, Covington engaged in a heart to heart discussion with his mother. He confessed that he wanted to change his life, but he didn’t know how because he never had a focus. Encouraged by his supportive mother and strengthened by his spiritual conversion, Covington found a job at a trucking company and enrolled in a welding course at a local community college. Despite being later forced to quit his job due to an injury, he continued his studies and began frequenting job fairs, where he first learned about PVJOBS. While seeking job counseling at the Southeast L.A. Watts Worksource Center, Covington applied for construction work with PVJOBS, landing a laborer position at the Playa Vista development project a short time later.  He was promoted to a foreman within a year.  However, he left three years later after enduring a series of sudden deaths in his family.  “I went under,” he remembers.  “I stopped working.  I fell off the radar.”

Grief stricken, Covington spent the next four years working on his own as a carpenter.  When work slowed due to the recession, he found it difficult to enter the mainstream job market since he had more than a decade of prison sentences on his record.  So he decided to revisit PVJOBS, which led to a five-week assignment at Playa Vista.  Covington didn’t receive another construction job assignment for more than a year.  Yet, he remained persistent and continued to stay in touch with the job program while taking courses through the Laborers Union.  Days after passing the union’s construction safety course, he was offered a job at the hospital development site.  “I felt blessed because I needed employment to survive,” says Covington.  “Most people like me, who have a prison record, don’t get a chance like this.”

Nowadays, Covington spends his weekdays working hard overseeing his laborer team while attending night classes at Trade Tech to study blue print reading and construction technology. He also happens to be one of the first residents to live at Playa Vista’s Foundation Park Apartments on the west border of the second district, where he’s enjoyed visits from his eight-year-old son and fifteen-year-old daughter.

Covington uses his newfound focus to fuel his growing career. “Even though I’m tired at times, I keep striving because I want something to share with my kids,” he says.  “I’m overjoyed by this opportunity. I smile everyday.”

Tele-Town Hall with LA Urban League

More than 920 stakeholders participated in a telephone town hall to speak about Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ local worker hire initiative targeting residents along the Crenshaw Transit Corridor and other Metro funded transportation projects. The initiative which would provide jobs to local residents within a five mile radius of any Metro project is set for a vote before the Metro Board on Thursday, September 22 at 9:00 a.m.

Jobs, the local worker hire initiative, or Construction Career Policy, and a project labor agreement were the main topics of discussion between Crenshaw community residents and Dan Rosenfeld, Ridley-Thomas’ senior deputy for economic development.  Other town hall participants included Robbie Hunter of the Los Angeles and Orange County building and construction trades council land Shomari Davis, business agent for the International Brotherhood Electrical Workers, Local 11. The labor leaders spoke eloquently of the significance of securing a Metro policy that ensures that its transportation projects give preference to workers who live in neighborhoods where unemployment is high.

During the hour-long discussion at the Los Angeles Urban League, Rosenfeld reaffirmed the Supervisor’s commitment to ensuring that a superior Crenshaw to LAX line is built from the start of construction to its completion. That means pushing forward on both a project labor agreement and construction careers policy that will enable at least 30% of the total construction hours are provided by residents who live within five miles of the project and within zip codes where unemployment is high.  Davis and Hunter attested to how Project Labor Agreements don’t just provide jobs for workers: the skills that are learned through PLA apprenticeship programs launch careers. Davis explained the steps that construction trade seekers go through and the lifetime benefits both financially and economically that come from learning a trade. Throughout the tele-town hall, co-hosted by the Urban League, participants voiced their concern, outrage and disappointment at the Metro Board’s refusal in May to underground the proposed light rail line through Park Mesa Heights and its unwillingness to include funding for a Leimert Park Village Station at Vernon.  Below are the results of a survey posed to the participants:

1. Do you support a targeted hire preference for residents of neighborhoods experiencing high unemployment and poverty for construction jobs on the Crenshaw-LAX line?

2. In general, do you think government should implement targeted hiring policies?

3. What percentage of the workforce should be drawn from communities characterized by high unemployment communities within the Crenshaw corridor?

4. Will you join us at the MTA Board meeting on Thursday, September 22 at 9 A.M.?


On May 26, the Metro Board rejected Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ motion that directed Metro staff to look into funding alternatives to finance a Leimert Park Village Station and underground the portion of the line that runs through Park Mesa Heights using non-Measure R sources. The motion received three favorable votes and needed seven of the thirteen Metro Board votes to pass. Instead, the Metro Board rejected the Park Mesa tunnel option outright and paid lip service to the Leimert Park Village station at Vernon, agreeing to add it to the final environmental document, but failing to provide funding for it. Mayor Villaraigosa’s vote and the additional three votes of his appointees were critical to the passage of the weaker motion after unanimously opposing the tunnel.  At the end of the tele-town hall, the panel called on listeners to attend the September 22 Metro Board meeting to show support for the Local Worker Hire/Construction Careers Policy for the Crenshaw-to-LAX line to ensure economic opportunities and benefits for those who live, work and trade in the heart of South Los Angeles.

For more information on an apprenticeship program contact:

IBEW Local 11-Electrician Training Institute
(323) 221-5881

For information on a apprenticeship mentoring/tutoring program contact:


Supervisor honored at PVJOBS annual luncheon

Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PVJOBS) brought together over 500 labor, business and community leaders to honor top workers and supporters at its annual Recognition Luncheon at the Cathedral Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.  This year was titled “Building New Careers & New Lives.” PVJOBS is a non-profit corporation created in 1998 to fulfill a Los Angeles City Council mandate: provide construction employment opportunities for at-risk local residents at the Playa Vista development site.  Today, as a result of their advocacy, PVJOBS works with several major construction projects.

[pullquote_right]”It’s about empowering individuals, strengthening families, and building communities,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.[/pullquote_right]Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas received a special recognition as a “Visionary of the Year” at the luncheon.  Kevin Sherrod was honored as “Intern of the Year”, Nathan Covington, as “Employee of the Year” for his work on the new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital, Jennie Garcia as “Employee of the Year”, and Hathaway Dinwiddie was honored as “Contractor of the Year.”

There are currently more than 100 community-based organizations providing life skills training to hard-to-serve individuals and referring them to PVJOBS for employment.  Together with collaborators, PVJOBS provides an array of supportive services to enable client success.  All referrals to PVJOBS are maintained in a database.  As employment opportunities become available, PVJOBS queries the database and makes referrals to employers.

Since most of the employment opportunities are construction and trade union affiliated, candidates are prepared for a union entry along with the cost of special tools and clothing barrier to employment.  PVJOBS makes supportive services available to cover these costs for clients.

PVJOBS is committed to supplying a minimum of 3000 hours work to each candidate.  This is accomplished by re-referral to similar trade work upon contract completion and subsequent lay off.  To date, PV JOBS has filled over 3,500 construction positions with more than 1000 contractors and a success rate of 89.5%.

For more information about PVJOBS, please visit pvjobs.org.