Section 3 Worker Success Stories

Home Contracts and Procurement Section 3 and MBE/WBE Section 3 Worker Success Stories

 

Meet our Section 3 Workers who have successfully found employment and are sharing their stories with you!

See below or Click here to read about their journeys. 

 

Sheila Walton 
Sheila Walton: Sheila Walton has been a resident of Jordan Downs for over 15 years. She currently  lives there with her daughter and young grandson. Through the Section 3 program she  has held many jobs with different contractors, and is currently working with Alameda   Construction.  Sheila’s first experience in construction was working as a laborer in HACLA’s Million  Dollar Jobs program which provided her the opportunity to train as a cement mason  apprentice. As she worked through her apprenticeship, she realized that she was  passionate about cement work. Sheila saw that there was an art to how cement was  poured and leveled out and yearned to master her craft and pursue further work in this  field.   Sheila has been working as a cement mason ever since, and is currently a 5th period  apprentice! She wants to continue down this path and together with her friend is in the  process of opening their own business!   “I’m glad that I am in a field that I love. It’s a hard job, but I love it and want  to put more effort into it every day. Work hard, play hard. That is my  motto.” – Sheila Walton


View Sheila Walton's inspirational story below:


 

Britney Castillo
Britney Castillo: Britney Castillo grew up in the Rose Hill Courts community with her four brothers. She felt it  was important to set a good example for her siblings and was always involved in leadership  programs and sports at school. She even became the senior class vice president of her  high school. After graduating from high school, Britney enrolled in college. However, due to  financial struggles she subsequently left. It was shortly thereafter that she met with  Fidelina Rivas at the WorkSource center in a chance encounter, and what she calls  “impeccable timing.”  With guidance, Britney was enrolled in the American College of Healthcare and  Technology’s Medical Assistant program in 2020. After completing the program in  December 2021, Britney started employment as a Medical Assistant in a Marina Del Rey  Clinic, where she is now receiving training to become a Certified Phlebotomy Technician.  Britney has now found the right career path for her. She has a clear vision of what she  wants to achieve and is steadily working towards realizing her goals. This December, she  will be taking her Certified Medical Assistant exam. In addition to that, she has applied to  nursing school to earn her Associate RN Degree.  Britney loves what she is doing. She is grateful and appreciates the opportunities  and financial assistance she was able to access thanks to HACLA’s Section 3  Program and the WorkSource Center.
Bryant Collins
Bryant Collins: Bryant Collins has been a resident of Jordan Downs for over 26 years, where he lives with his young son. Bryant was hired by Lonestar Construction in 2018 in connection with the Jordan Downs redevelopment project. He started as an apprentice, and through support from Lonestar and his own determination, he became a Journeyman. His duties included measuring areas of the roof, tiling, pouring cement, retrieving materials, and various other tasks. Bryant says the early days were hard when he was working during the week and driving long-distance on weekends to complete Roofers Union classes.   Almost five years later, Bryant has learned the trade and Lonestar has hired him permanently. “It was a life changing experience. I am about to break the cycle of living at Jordan Downs,” says Bryant, whose grandmother and mother have also lived at Jordan Downs. He says that the change was needed.   Bryant says Lonestar provided a great work environment with supportive coworkers and supervisors and a good steady income to help him provide for his son. He now looks to the next phase of his life and is ready to become a homeowner.
Ricardo Sandoval
Ricardo Sandoval: Ricardo Sandoval is a hard worker. He is a Watts resident currently working on the Rose Hill Courts project for JEM Unlimited Iron, Inc. as a Communication Systems Installer.  Previously a machinist, he began on the project as a pipe layer laborer with Boudreau Pipeline, his first job in the construction field.  HACLA’s WorkSource Center was able to provide funds for Ricardo to purchase tools and work attire for his new position. Although it has been a process, Ricardo has been enjoying learning new skills. “This has been a great opportunity, not only for my career, but also for his family. I want to encourage my family and friends to enroll with WSC and find their path.” says Ricardo, who is proud to see his work positively impact the community.  Once his work at Rose Hills is completed, Ricardo hopes to move onto the Jordan Downs project and continue working in his new craft. He says, “I’m the kind of person who wants to work, I want to stay busy and keep working. I take any job and this was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door.”
Lakenya Spikes
Lakenya Spikes: Lakenya Spikes is a determined individual.  She is a resident of Imperial Courts and currently working for Walton Construction as an Administrative Assistant for Jordan Downs redevelopment efforts. She has been in this position since September 2021. Ms.Spikes has worked in construction filed for years out in the field, but now also enjoys working in the office.  As an administrative assistant she coordinates the efforts to hire Section 3 workers. Lakenya mentions how important it is for her to get women hired in the construction field.  “It is a beautiful site when I see other women on site and I am not the only one.” When she encounters women working out in the field, she finds it motivating. She also finds it motivating to be part of something that she can see develop from the ground up and cannot wait to see the project when finished.  “I encourage for more women to come in and get in the trade, it is male dominated but when women are here it makes us feel empowered. I feel empowered being in this construction site. What they can do, we can do ladies!” – Lakenya Spikes
George Taylor
George Taylor: “Be ready and take the opportunities” says George Taylor of Jordan Downs. He is member of Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. George has worked on different phases at Jordan Downs, including the retail center. Currently he is working with Elliott Construction on Phase S-2.   George raised his three children at Jordan Downs as a single parent. He says after loosing one of his children and wife many years ago, it was hard for him to find the strength to move on, but the community helped him to overcome it. Today, he is proud of his children and their successes.   George has moved to his new apartment at Jordan Downs and says “Like is not the word. I love it here.” when asked about living in the redeveloped units. He adds that having built the units with his own hands and continuing to do so while living in the same community adds another level of pride that can’t be explained.
Robert Lowe
Robert Lowe: Robert Lowe is a unique person. For the last 30 years, he has been a resident of Imperial Courts community where he raised his two sons. Lowe is a United States veteran, a journeyman plumber-laborer, but most importantly, inspiration and role model for his family and community. He has an exceptional work ethic and is always a valued member of any team he joins. A few years ago, he decided to go back to college to finish his AA degree from Trade Tech College, in addition to completing his apprenticeship in plumbing. Among his many talents, Lowe also draws construction blueprints and helps others as needed.  Mr. Lowe has worked with HACLA’s Force Account and held way too many jobs in the Jordan Downs Redevelopment to list. He is currently working with Davis Construction on S-2 and S-3 phases. He will soon celebrate his 68th birthday!  “I came out of retirement. Not working was not for me,” says Robert Lowe and jokes that the young workers at the site can’t keep up with him.   Mr. Lowe’s goal is to use his VA benefits and buy a home this year!
Jose Mateo
Jose Mateo: Jose Mateo is a role model for youth. He lives at Pueblo Del Sol community. Jose was hired by Portrait Construction team to assist with the Section 3 requirements relating to the rehabilitation work at Pueblo Del Sol. “Working with Portrait Construction has been a great experience. From the moment I was hired, the people at Portrait Construction have embraced me as part of their team. Any questions that I had on the job were quickly answered, any curiosities about the industry were met with detailed insights, and opportunities for growth were always available.” says Jose, who was recently promoted and will be assisting Portrait Construction on its other Section 3 projects.   Jose’s supervisor says that Jose exceeded their expectations. He has expanded Portrait’s excel tracking sheet to automate the data for section 3 hiring, built relationships with the subcontractors and workers. He puts his best effort to assist Section 3 workers find employment through the program.   “Being able to be a small part of the redevelopment of my community has been a great privilege for me, and I look forward to seeing how my community benefits from these changes. Portrait Construction took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to get my foot in the construction industry. For this, I am forever grateful to them.” – Jose Mateo
Gina Miller
Gina Miller: Gina Miller has ben a resident of Jordan Downs for over 30 years. She has been enrolled with the WSC and Section 3 program since 2017. Gina has worked as a laborer on Jordan Downs Redevelopment Phases 1A, 1B, 1C, and later was hired for LAX through the Targeted Local Hire Program, placed by HACLA’s WorkSource Center.  Today, Gina is working for the City of Los Angeles as a custodian, where she has been for three years.  Again, she was hired through a referral from the WorkSource Center to the Targeted Local Hire Program. Gina’s hopes that more people enroll in HACLA’s WorkSource Center as she has found it to be a very useful tool.  She mentions that they are “very professional and really want to help you get a job.”

 

If you are a Section 3 Worker and wish to share your story, please contact section3@hacla.org