Fourth Cohort of Formerly Incarcerated Graduated From Labor’s Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp

03/29/2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Contact: Gabriella Landeros, 323-406-3270, gabriella@thelafed.org

After 12-Week Program, Graduates Are Placed in Union Apprenticeships

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor graduated its fourth cohort class of 23 formerly incarcerated individuals from the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp.

The Bootcamp is a joint undertaking between five core partners: the LA Fed, Miguel Contreras Foundation, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Each partner plays a key role in the program. As a result, the Bootcamp is uniquely positioned to help reduce recidivism by creating real and lasting career opportunities through union apprenticeships for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Union apprenticeships provide paid job training, good middle class wages and benefits, and clear pathways for career advancement. These apprenticeships are established based on agreements between labor and employers, and apprentices earn certifications, employment experience, and transferable skills.

“No one should be turned away from a job based off their background, who they are, or where they come from. We all make mistakes, but if we don’t provide opportunities to those who are constantly receiving the short end of the stick, we will never be an equitable society. The Los Angeles Labor Movement believes in inclusivity, and after seeing these graduates completely changing their lives for the better I am confident we are one step closer to achieving that goal,” said Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

“Our partnership with the LA Fed and LA Trade Tech has created new pathways into high-quality careers for the men and women we serve, allowing them to support themselves and their families, and strengthening their communities. I continue to be inspired both by the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of our graduates, and the commitment of our partners to provide new opportunities for the formerly incarcerated,” said Scott Budnick, Founder and President of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

“The ARC program continues to be one of our strongest at preparing people for apprenticeship,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO. “We ask a lot of our apprentices and these ARC graduates deliver.”

“The Miguel Contreras Foundation is proud to serve as a program partner of the LA Fed on the Second Chance Bootcamp. Under our new mission, we seek to empower underserved workers, including the formerly incarcerated. Like our allies in the Building Trades, ARC, and LA Trade Tech, we believe that all underserved workers in Los Angeles deserve the chance for a durable career. Today’s graduates prove that implementing this belief is possible,” said Araceli Campos, Executive Director of the Miguel Contreras Foundation.

“This graduation is a great example of partnership. Every partner has a critical role and it is the mix that makes this partnership unique. Our college is committed to these students and their success. And the graduation of this cohort is an example of the students’ remarkable focus on improving their lives and the lives of those around them,” said Larry Frank, President of LA Trade-Tech.

“There are several important characteristics that I feel I have vastly improved on since the beginning of my training with the LA Fed, ARC, Building Trades, Miguel Contreras Foundation, and LA Trade Tech: discipline, punctuality, physical endurance, self awareness, and social camaraderie. I am now a more confident and positive individual that has been instilled with the tools that I feel are imperative to becoming a successful asset to society,” said Keith Lesley, graduate of the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp.

“I’m a 38 year-old single parent of five kids, three that are grown and two that live with me. I got into the system because of the lifestyles that my parents and I were living. I found out about the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp through a friend. I love ARC and their partnership with labor because they are a strong community, like family. They have taught me about discipline, humility, and motivated me in all aspects. All I want is to be able to support my kids and I know that working for a union will help me accomplish that,” said Janely Masvidal, graduate of the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp.

“Here in Los Angeles County, we believe in giving people a second chance to turn their lives around. Today we see the fruits of our labor come to fruition as 23 individuals receive a fresh start to a productive and successful life,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “I want to commend the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp for their 84% placement rate, for spearheading this essential program that provides opportunities that will last a lifetime, and for working with all their graduates to eliminate barriers to employment. Through rigorous training, discipline, and dedication, all these graduates defied the odds and are crossing the finish line. I am proud have supported this union apprenticeship program by encouraging the County to contribute $330,000 to support the program, including a grant of $230,000 from my own discretionary funds, and today I celebrate its fourth graduating class and their continued work in the County.”

Los Angeles is home to the largest formerly incarcerated population in California, with tens of thousands of individuals released in the County each year. There are many barriers to sustainable employment for those returning home from incarceration. Removing those barriers and supporting an individual’s opportunity for change are critical to ensuring safer communities.

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