Putting Local People to Work in Local Projects
Spotlight on SBWIB and One-Stop Business and Career Center
When talk of a new land development project comes to Inglewood, Jan Vogel, the CEO of the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (also known as the SBWIB), is one of the first people to know about it. That’s because the mission of SBWIB is to keep Inglewood residents in the community, to keep people working locally, and to help local businesses stay where they are. This work isn’t new. Mr. Vogel and his team have been on the front lines of workforce development and retention in Inglewood for 30 years.
In the last two years, Robert Chavez has seen more than 2,600 Inglewood job seekers come through the doors of the One-Stop Center. Mr. Chavez, who works under Mr. Vogel and the SBWIB, is the Program Director at the One-Stop Business and Career Center. This is where Inglewood residents go to learn about getting matched to jobs in diverse fields including aerospace, nursing, manufacturing, information technologies, and construction.
Three projects are on the horizon: the LA Clippers arena, the LAX People Mover project, and the Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC). And one major project is already underway: the LA Stadium and Entertainment District, otherwise known as the Rams football stadium. This project is currently demonstrating the innovative ways workforce development can happen here in Inglewood.
After an early partnership between the stadium’s land company and the SBWIB, there was an initial goal of hiring local residents for 30% of the stadium jobs, many of them in the construction trade. It then became Mr. Chavez’s job to find and train qualified individuals to meet the hiring goal.
Thanks to the dedicated work of the One-Stop Center and its apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship construction programs, the 30% goal has already been surpassed. Of the 1,000+ jobs that have already been created through the stadium project, local residents have been hired for more than half of them! And despite a historically low percentage of African American men hired in the construction industry, the Inglewood stadium is currently hiring 90% minorities through the One-Stop programs and over 50% of them are African American men. There are even special classes being offered for women.
The vision of the SBWIB’s One Stop Center is bigger than this one project. Training and equipping a local workforce to build this stadium is just the first step in creating generational opportunities for that workforce to move to other land development projects like the proposed LA Clippers arena and the LAX People Mover projects mentioned above.
It’s no secret that the construction trade is a good place to be – high wages, great benefits, and decades of sustainable work. But the process can be intimidating. The success of the SBWIB and One-Stop Center is in its ability to demystify the myth of getting into the construction trade. Whatever employment barriers Inglewood residents may be facing, the One-Stop Center is helping match residents with career pathways. Land development projects, like the football stadium, the Clippers basketball arena and entertainment complex, and the Inglewood Transit Connector, are providing terrific opportunities to get Inglewood residents started in promising careers.
Every day people stop by the offices of Jan Vogel and Robert Chavez to tell them their stories of how they just got hired. Of the hundreds of people who have already been hired, thousands of more jobs await Inglewood residents.
If you’re looking for employment, and are interested in joining the hundreds of Inglewood residents who are saying “I helped build that,” then drop by the One Stop Center every other Friday at 1pm. Who knows, you might be the next person with a career story to share!
Multiple Free Workshops Every Week in Inglewood
Visit the Monthly Calendar page and click the One-Stop Center button. If you’re just getting started, look for the free bi-monthly orientations.
at the Inglewood One-Stop Center
110 S La Brea Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301