MediaOne's Los Angeles system has managed a little
recycling that benefits both itself and its community.
The item saved from the scrap heap was a house. The
beneficiary was the East Los Angeles Skills Center, which provides job training to at-risk
youth and adults.
The system intended to tear down a training facility in
South Central Los Angeles formerly used by its technicians to practice cable
installations. But executives decided that the structure might be of use beyond the cable
Two associates -- head technical instructor Tony Martinez
and Gordon Baldwin, MediaOne's Western region safety manager -- identified the center
as an appropriate recipient.
The school -- part of the Los Angeles Unified School
District -- has a "pole farm" to teach skills in both cable- and
telephone-installation programs, but no on-site training was available.
This is one area where virtual situations just don't
cut it, said Maxine Hammond, vice principal of the school. The center shoots for
end-to-end, real-world training classes, she added.
"We're real pleased that MediaOne chose us for
this donation," Hammond said.
The center offers classes in everything from office skills
to forklift operation, and the two cable and telecommunications classes are always full,
In addition to students, cable companies use the center for
recertification of their technicians, according to educators.
The only difficult part of the donation was the logistics:
The operator needed multiple municipal permits to close streets at 1 a.m. Sept. 25 in
order to move the building approximately 10 miles to its new home.
MediaOne did not commit to hiring students trained at the
center, but officials said there is a great need for skilled technicians throughout
Southern California, so graduates should find placement.