On Friday, August 10, the West Los Angeles America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) celebrated its grand opening in Culver City. AJCC is a one-stop shop for workforce services, providing a comprehensive range of no-cost employment and training services for employers and job seekers.
“What brings [AJCC] together is our common goal to insure the highest quality of service for job seekers and the local business community through seamlessly integrated resources to help our clients overcome barriers and achieve sustainable employment,” said Alan Levy, JVS SoCal CEO.
AJCC is funded through a partnerships between the county and city of Los Angeles, and the state employment development department. They are also building partnerships with local Culver City officials and West L.A. Community College.
The grand opening was attended by local and city officials which included L.A. Supervisor 2nd District, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department General Manager, Jan Perry, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 3rd District Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl, Culver City Vice Mayor, Meghan Sahli-Wells, Employment Development Department, Regional Deputy Division Chief, Carolyn Anderson, director of Los Angeles county Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services, Cynthia Banks, West LA College Academic Affairs, Vice President, Aracely Aguilar and West LA AJCC client Lorrie Williams.
“We’ve got so many jobs in the region and in Culver City but making those connections and making sure that the folks who need opportunity can reach opportunity is exactly what makes this center such a success,” said Sahli-Wells.
“West L.A. has worked with JVS throughout the years on many projects to get our students into employment,” said Aguilar. “We are thrilled to come together to address our population of over 1,800 students, who are experiencing homelessness.
“We look forward to the success of our students in achieving their goals and most importantly, overcoming barriers to success.”
“EDD is proud to be a partner at [AJCC]—it has been a long time coming and we have been looking forward to returning to West Los Angeles since the closure of the site in Marina Del Rey area,” said Anderson. “We are very, very, very happy to be here.”
“A lot of the time, people feel like governments don’t work together with the city and county but we actually do,” said Perry, “we do because we share the same mission.
“It’s living, breathing transformation that I think we bring about.
“It’s a win-win for everybody, a win here for us in the city and it’s great to be able to work with our county partners and help people come to the doors.”
Williams shared her story and the trials of life that found her dealing with the loss of a loved one, an addiction, a prison sentence and being estranged from her children and family. She shared that stable jobs were hard to come by and the changing economy didn’t help.
“I was living alone, in a one-bedroom apartment and my rent had been increased three times in one year,” said Williams.
She was referred to AJCC and entered into a comprehensive construction program. Williams graduated with multiple OSHA certifications (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). A job fair and additional training landed her a position with the Metro Regional Connecter Construction project, which is worth $1.2 billion. She is now a pile driver and a member of the Local Union 2375.
“We do welding, torch cutting, grinding, carpentry and drive heavy equipment—I wear a tool belt around my waist, I don’t know how that happened, I’m a girly-girl,” said Williams. “I now have medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage
“The best part is this is not just a job—it’s a career, with a real future,” said Willaims
“It’s an impressive presentation of what worksource centers are about, I’m mean, after all, we are investing in peoples,” said Ridley-Thomas. “This is how you build communities, this is how the quality of life for communities from one end of the county is raised to a new level.
“We’re doing very deliberately with the public and private sectors joining hands for the good of other people.”
The West LA AJCC will closely serve Culver City, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Westchester, Ladera Heights, and other cities in the West LA area. Williams added that this is an opportunity for someone to turn their life around in a positive direction.
“The worksource centers in any community is very important because it allows you a chance to access your academic abilites,” said Williams. “You go through the testing, they help you with building a resume, cover letter, computer for us to get on and get the job leads that we need, there’s training available and job fairs.
“If you’re on unemployment, GR, if you’re a county recipient, then the worksource center will pay for the training for you to get these jobs that are really careers.”
Williams sends a special thanks to Michael Richardson of SKANSKA construction company.
For more information, please visit www.jvs-socal.org. You can also reach the West Los Angeles America’s Job Center of California at (310) 309-6000. The West Los Angeles America’s Job Center of California is located at 5446 Sepulveda Blvd. in Culver City, CA.