By Vincent Imamoto, WorkSource Vocational
After finding a quiet enough place on the construction site, she donned a headset, logged onto the zoom meeting, and prepared for her turn to present. The call was a monthly HomeAid Los Angeles WORKS Committee meeting with invited partners Milender White (MW), their various subcontractors on the HUB LA project, and the West Adams WorkSource Center (WAWSC). Marisha is a Field Engineer with the General Contractor Milender White and on September 21st, 2022, she was tasked with reporting on subcontractor participation pertaining to the major building project HUB Los Angeles of Figueroa St.
Familiar faces donned the screen as she gave her report. Former mentors and instructors from her days as a job seeker asked questions and took notes. Now, she is a partner and ally advocating economic equality for Los Angeles. Marisha recently finished a 3-month internship as a Field Engineer and is now full time permanent. Part of her assignment has been to establish positive rapport with the subcontractors, assess their hiring needs, and see if they would be interested in becoming employment partners with the WORKS program. WORKS is a 2-week fundamental of construction training program unique to the WAWSC, an employment program, under the leadership of the Economic Workforce and Development Department. It is also a program she graduated from a few months prior.
Marisha approached the WorkSource Center in May of 2022. Her goal has always been to work in the construction industry but finding access to companies willing to hire locally proved an almost insurmountable task. Knowing construction is an area of focus for the WAWSC, she asked to participate in their 2-week WORKS class. Upon completing the course, at the top of her class, she interviewed with multiple companies and ultimately chose MW as her preferred employer. After a few weeks of work, she contacted the WAWSC with her progress saying, “Everything is going great. I’m learning a great deal. I’ve been able to learn and provide new tasks and be trusted with new pieces of projects and/or reports that the team need for different project milestones… we’re on level 3 now, and we’ll start erecting wood framing next week.”
Her own accomplishments were not at the forefront of her mind. Instead, her thoughts lingered on the success of her classmates. Not knowing if they were picked up, she said, “I’ve been thinking about my classmates and wanted to follow up with you all; to remind them not to lose hope and don’t stray from the goal— they have the business cards from the interviewers: MW, BMI & Trademark.”
Marisha lives by a certain mantra that perfectly encapsulates her spirit of encouragement and purpose. For those who are reading this article, please read aloud her saying, “Onward. Forward. Upward. MOMENTUM. Fight On.”