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

08/30/2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Contacts: Gabriella Landeros, 323-406-3270, gabriella@thelafed.org
Cheryl Bonacci, 213-955-5885, cbonacci@antirecidivism.org

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

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor graduated its third cohort class of 24 formerly incarcerated individuals, including the first three women, from the Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp.

The Second Chance Pre-Apprenticeship Bootcamp is a joint undertaking between four core partners: the LA Fed, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the 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.

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.

“The labor movement has always been committed to lifting up the voices of all workers, no matter your background, who you are, or where you come from. After seeing the commitment these graduates have put in these past 12 weeks, I’m confident they will not only succeed in their careers, but be civically engaged members of society,” said Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

“The strength of our collaborative partnership with the LA Fed and LA Trade Tech is continuing to produce highly qualified, well-trained employees for the LA and Orange County building trade workforce. I continued to be inspired by the commitment of the men and women of ARC who are deeply motivated throughout the 12-week program, to demonstrate their ability and gratitude for this opportunity. Today we celebrate what is possible when we all work together,” said Scott Budnick, Founder and President of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

“For decades, the Building Trades have had their doors open to all, regardless of their background,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the LA/OC Building Trades Council. “The Second Chance program adds a new level of preparation for these individuals to enter the union construction workforce. We want these to be lifelong careers for them.”

“This partnership has created a team to support the hopes and dreams of these re-entry students. ARC does a great job in selecting and case managing, LA Trade Tech College does the apprenticeship preparation training, and labor does the heavy lifting by getting to know each and every applicant and securing their placement into joint construction apprenticeship. In this third ARC cohort, the students have shown a personal commitment to their training here at our campus, and we as a college have embraced our role in providing skill enhancements and fitness for their next steps into a career. They are clear examples of how student success can be achieved through teamwork, support and perseverance,” said Larry Frank, President of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

“I can only speak for myself, but this program is truly the epitome of second chances. This is not just the opportunity to rejoin society or break the chains of our past, but it gives those who have real deep-seeded desire to reshape their futures,” said Dewayne Hulbert, third cohort graduate.

“To me, this program means healing. Healing me through the lessons learned transitioning to the outside world, healing my family through the opportunities to show them I have changed and being an example to our young ones, healing to my community by being a positive, tax paying member of society, and healing indirectly by giving back some of what was so graciously given to me,” said Anthony Vergara, third cohort graduate.

###