The Los Angeles County Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, announced the kick-off of their Transportation School, which will prepare Los Angeles County youth for career and college pathways in the global transportation industry. The school’s curriculum will be developed to teach students transferrable STEAM industry skills focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
The school is the centerpiece of a larger Workforce Development Initiative that Metro has created to address the transportation industry’s need for a skilled workforce. This educational and vocational program expands Metro’s existing career pathway programs to include more high-school age youth, including those at-risk from underserved communities. Eventually, Metro will expand the program to reach youth across L.A. County.
Nearly 30% of Metro’s workforce is eligible for retirement in the next few years. As a result, Metro will need a new workforce to help plan, build, manage, and operate the myriad of major transportation projects that the agency will deliver in the coming years. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC) estimates that Measure M alone will support and create 778,000 jobs over the next 40 years.
“Tomorrow’s economy depends on today’s opportunities,” said L.A. Mayor and Metro 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 will be part of a larger mixed-use development that will transform a vacant property in the Vermont/Manchester area of South Los Angeles into an active community with improved quality of life, increased safety, community amenities, and workforce development opportunities. In addition to the school, site will include retail, affordable housing, and access to transit.
"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 Metro 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."
The school will be the entry point into Metro’s career pathway initiative intended to develop its future workforce. Another component of the career pathway is the Workforce Initiative Now-Los Angeles (WIN-LA) 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. Metro’s Project Labor Agreement/Construction Career Policy (PLA/CCP) encourages construction employment and training opportunities on Metro projects to those who reside in economically disadvantaged areas.
“The transportation industry faces a huge challenge in creating a qualified workforce for the future,” said Metro 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.”