The YWCA Greater Los Angeles has been awarded an $82-million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant for the YWCA GLA Job Corps Urban Campus building, now under construction in downtown Los Angeles� South Park business district.

YWCA Greater LA Receives Labor Department Stimulus Grant

The U.S. Department of Labor provided the grant, which will fund a 20-year lease agreement for the new building. The project, funded with various resources, leveraged $70 million in new market tax credits from organizations, which partly funded the project’s construction costs, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Enterprise Community Investment and LISC and the Los Angeles Development Fund, managed by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.

Over 900 jobs including 60 jobs dedicated to train job corps students will be generated by the construction related costs for the new building, according to YWCA GLA CEO Faye Washington.

The general contractor on the project is PCL Construction Services, Inc. of Glendale, and the architect is Los Angeles-based Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, Inc.

The seven-story, 154,000-sq-ft building will contain a state of the art library, computer lab, modernized medical and dental clinic and infirmary, classrooms and residential units for 400 students.

Construction of the new building is the second milestone in a three-phase YWCA GLA Urban Campus Master Plan to include commercial/retail uses and affordable housing.

“One of the most groundbreaking endeavors of the construction activity is that the Job Corps students will actually participate in the construction of the building,” says Washington. “We have approximately 60 apprenticeship slots for our Job Corps students to actively participate in the construction of their new campus.”

The YWCA GLA Urban Campus Master Plan provides for transitional housing for up to 24 months, while participants obtain jobs and implement the successful life skills they have learned.

The YWCA GLA has served the LA area since 1894 and began administering the Los Angeles Job Corps Program in 1965. It provides residential and non-residential programming at no cost to homeless, emancipated, and at-risk youth ages 16-24. Job Corps employs a holistic career development training model that integrates the teaching of academic, vocational, employability skills, social competencies and wellness/health services. It leverages formal and informal partnerships with many businesses, employers, training facilities and community organizations to deliver its comprehensive service model, which includes job placement.

“This center is strategically located to job centers at the hub of the downtown Los Angeles renaissance,” says Washington. “Local downtown businesses will greatly benefit from our highly trained Job Corps graduates as future employees to remain competitive. We are even set up to allow local businesses who are serious about hiring our Job Corps students to provide us with training modules, so the students graduate with skills specific to their needs.”

Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011.

The building is designed to be eligible for LEED certification, and includes such sustainable features as construction material recycling, stormwater management, indoor air quality and energy efficient mechanical systems.