LACMTA, L.A. County partner on transportation school

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
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Photo: LACMTA

The Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (LACMTA) and the County of Los Angeles have partnered on the launch of their Transportation School, which is intended to prepare Los Angeles County youth for futures in the transportation industry.

Officials said the school’s curriculum will inform students about the transferrable STEAM industry skills that emphasize science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

The school is the centerpiece of a larger Workforce Development Initiative that LACMTA has created to address the transportation industry’s need for a skilled workforce.

The educational and vocational program expands upon LACMTA’s current career pathway programs to include more high-school age students, including those in underserved communities, the agency said. Eventually, LACMTA plans to grow the program to reach youth throughout L.A. County.

Nearly 30 percent of LACMTA’s workforce is eligible for retirement in the next few years. As a result, LACMTA will need a new workforce to help plan, build, manage and operate major future transportation projects that the agency aims to deliver.

The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates that Measure M, which provides funding for transportation projects, will create 778,000 jobs during the next four decades.

“Tomorrow’s economy depends on today’s opportunities,” said L.A. Mayor and LACMTA Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “This new school gives young Angelenos a pathway to successful, long-lasting careers in the  transportation industry — which, thanks to Measure M, will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in our region for years to come.”

The Transportation School is set to be part of a larger mixed-use development that would transform a vacant property in the Vermont/Manchester area of South Los Angeles, revamping it to become a space with community amenities and workforce development opportunities.

The site is also expected to include access to transit, retail and affordable housing.

“Our vision is to put a one-of-a-kind asset here on the corner of Vermont and Manchester that will fundamentally alter the ecosystem of this community — and do so in a culturally sensitive and context-specific manner,” said LACMTA Board of Director and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “There will be housing, retail, and a workforce training center, but the real engine of long-term economic opportunity will be a state-of-the-art boarding academy that will prepare young people for transportation-related jobs.‎”

Officials said they plan for the school to serve as an entry point into LACMTA’s career pathway initiative, and it is intended to develop the agency’s future workforce.

Another component of the career pathway is the Workforce Initiative Now-Los Angeles  Program which creates a workforce development and skills training program for transportation jobs by partnering with private-sector employers, community colleges, labor organizations and others.

LACMTA’s Project Labor Agreement/Construction Career Policy also encourages construction employment and training opportunities on LACMTA projects to those who reside in economically disadvantaged area, officials said.

“The transportation industry faces a huge challenge in creating a qualified workforce for the future,” said LACMTA CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Not only is this a way to ensure we have the employees we need to transform transportation in Los Angeles County, but also a way to develop and cultivate the most important asset we have – our people.”

Categories: Commuter/Regional, OFF Track Maintenance, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training
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