On a picture perfect day in January, the Jordan Downs redevelopment site was bustling with activity. The rustle of the forklifts and excavators along with the smell of freshly cut construction wood planks is an indicator that the project Phase 1A is well on its way. As part of the historic redevelopment of Jordan Downs, HACLA and its partners have emphasized the importance of local hire. The site averages 80 construction workers a day with skills from various trades such as carpenters, concrete, plumbers and electricians.
In June 2017, HACLA, its developer partners, Jordan Downs residents, Watts community members and many public officials, including the City of Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti and Councilman Buscaino gathered to mark a watershed moment in the redevelopment of Jordan Downs and the reimagining of the neighboring South LA community. The groundbreaking celebration coincided with the commencement of construction on the first phase of the project. The signs of a nearly decade-long visioning, collaborating and planning effort are now visible to the community in the form of wood-framed structures of new residential homes.
The Century Boulevard extension, the spine of the new community, is approximately 40% complete and on schedule for operation by mid-2018. The extension will open up the now inward Jordan Downs housing project to the greater community and help inspire economic growth and vitality in the region. The first residential phase currently under construction will deliver 115 state-of-the-art new homes by late 2018. A second residential phase consisting of 135 new homes is slated for construction in late spring. 157 current Jordan Downs residents will have an opportunity to make this first phase their home. An 118,000 square-foot neighborhood-serving commercial retail center is planned for construction mid-year. High-quality retailers with national brands are planned to provide services and offerings to this community by late 2019.
HACLA, Cannon Constructors and Bridge Housing hosted a job fair at the Jordan Downs Community Center on January 11 with 230 interested candidates attending the fair. Representatives and recruits from 15 construction trade companies participated in the event seeking to fill open positions with qualified candidates. To meet the 30% local hire redevelopment goal, the hiring priority was given to the residents of Jordan Downs site as well as Watts residents, followed by HUD’s Youth Build Program participants and residents of the City of Los Angeles.
Once the qualified candidates are selected by their potential employers, they will be enrolled in a free, week-long training session. Funded through the Worksource Center Programs and facilitated by Career Expansion, Inc., this training session will include OSHA 10 training for construction industry as well as various helpful workshops on life skills, financial responsibility, job site relations, how to use tools and hands on boot camp. The goal of the training program is to expose selected candidates to the basic knowledge they need to pursue a career in the construction industry.
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