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South Bay Workforce Investment Board, a Gateway to Success
By Khalid Shah Board Member, Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation
Published April 12, 2017


Back to the Peace Round Table
In less than 24 months, the city of Inglewood will be the home of an 80,000 seat, $2.6 billion
dollar NFL Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams, a mix of entertainment, commercial and
residential buildings. The Stadium is said by some to be one of the most expensive projects in
NFL history and a possible venue for both the upcoming world Olympic Games and major
International soccer events.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the new stadium could bring some 22,000 construction
jobs to the area with another 12,000 full and part-time jobs. Mayor James Butts and the
Inglewood city council negotiated a 30% local set aside to insure that the residence of
Inglewood ,many of whom are African American, would benefit from jobs being created.

South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB)

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Many of the jobs and other employment opportunities are being funneled through one of the
best kept secrets in Los Angeles county, the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, also
known as the (SBWIB).

(SBWIB) is an eleven city consortium located in Inglewood, Torrance, Carson, Gardena, and
Hawthorne made up of local leaders, non profits, businesses, school districts, and other local
stakeholders. Each week clients seeking employment come into the one stops for an initial
pre-employment assessment. They are then called back to go over areas of employability
where they are directed to sharpen their soft skills, basic comprehension, education and vocal
skill levels. If the client scores high enough, many are directed to a pre apprentice program for
construction jobs or other preparatory employment programs.
According to the SBWIB transitional Subsidized Employment report, 38% of adult
African American, 35.5% of African American Youth, 20% of dislocated African American
workers and 37.7 % of African American special dislocated workers received services
from the SBWIB last year reflecting the populations who need the service the most.
Transitional Subsidized Employment is a win win for all involved according to one source, it
provides wage paid work, jobs skills training and support services for the client while the federal
government subsidizes salaries from 30 to 90 days for workers, saving the employer thousands
of dollars while hiring those in the community who are unemployed and need additional support
services.

I had the privilege to sit down with one of the founding members of the SBWIB, executive
director Mr. Jan Vogel who spoke about the unique opportunities that are now available
especially in Inglewood and the surrounding cities and the role the SBWIB will play.
When I walked into his office building in Hawthorne I was met by a rich diversity of young
minority professionals that reflected the surrounding community. The entire office was poised
and professional, a place where young people who were part of that same diversity would find a
receptive ear.

” It is important to know that there are many upcoming projects in the South Bay area that
residents can access per Jan Vogel. The Inglewood Senior Center project, Centinela School
District, Hawthorne Mall and Police department renovation projects, as well as the Lawndale
Youth Center projects. They all offer employment opportunity and job skill training to the
residents of the South Bay.” Of course, everyone wants information about how to access new
the football stadium and the jobs associated with that project. ” According to one of the program
manager from the Inglewood One Stop, Robert Chavez, every other Friday, construction job
information is available at our office for those without skills and seeking information about
construction jobs. For those already members of the unions and ready to work, Wednesday
appointments are available to help fast track applications.

Overcoming employment barriers

Just because you’ve had issues in the past doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from employment.
There are a number of unions and employers who except ex felons and those needing training,
it’s usually on a case by case basis. Some of the unions that except employees with barriers
are painters union, dry-wall, cement,mason, and labor unions. it’s not necessarily where you’ve
been, but where you’re going that matters”.
But it’s also important to know that you will have to pass a drug test so if you are
currently using medical marijuana or any other controlled substance,you may want to
look elsewhere.

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One of my heroes in gang intervention and prevention Father Greg Boyle always say’s nothing
stops a bullet like a job,.Since 2002, crime has steadily decreased and the city of inglewood has
truly become that light on the hill partially due to the efforts of city leaders, law enforcement,
local clergy and the “Peace After The Verdict” movement, which was an effort that I was
involved in.

Hats off to the South Bay Work Investment Board and a great team of individuals making it
happen for the community.
For more information about jobs available in the South Bay, please call: 310 970 7700

Khalid Shah
Board Member, Stop the Violence Increase
the Peace Foundation, Host, Back to the Peace Round Table

Categories: Op-Ed | Opinion
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