New day-laborer center OK’d

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I think this is going to be one of the best-run facilities into the future,” said Councilman Tony Cardenas, who represents parts of Van Nuys and Sylmar. “It took a lot of work and cooperation with Home Depot.” The plan calls for the Youth Policy Institute to operate a resource center in a building in the parking lot of the Home Depot at Balboa Place and Roscoe Boulevard on property owned by the city’s airport agency. Home Depot will pay to renovate the building, and the Youth Policy Institute will receive $150,000 in city funding. Councilman Greig Smith, whose district includes residential areas near the store, said the city and the company must make sure potential workers actually use the center. “What the neighbors have complained about for years is that (job seekers) are stretched out all along this boulevard looking for jobs but the building sits empty,” he said. “Unless Home Depot steps up to the plate and pushes people into this building, the project will fail.” The San Fernando Valley is poised to get its second city-sponsored day-labor center after the City Council approved a plan Wednesday for a site in Van Nuys. The council unanimously approved a lease agreement in which Home Depot and the city will support an effort by the nonprofit Youth Policy Institute to establish a site to aid job seekers. The vote comes as Los Angeles officials consider a citywide policy on day-labor facilities, and neighboring cities, most recently Burbank, add sites of their own. The new center would be the eighth city-backed site in Los Angeles, with three more in the works. Officials touted the Van Nuys plan as a model that could be replicated elsewhere. Cardenas said he is confident the Van Nuys site will succeed because it will provide programming to keep people inside, and two Youth Policy Institute staffers will be present at all times. The site will include job, computer and English-language training, as well as medical services, said Luis Perez, coordinator with the Youth Policy Institute, which has operated a similar center in North Hollywood for 15 years. While the North Hollywood site sees from 80 to 110 job-seekers a day, the Van Nuys facility would likely draw even more, Perez said. “This site is open to everybody and anybody who’s looking for work,” he said. “It’s open to anybody who’s willing to come in and conduct themselves in a professional way.” Jobs would be disseminated according to a lottery system, Perez said, with consideration given to workers with special skills. The arrangement in Van Nuys will serve as a template as the city expands the Day Laborer Program, said Delphia Jones, director of the Human Services and Family Development Division of the city’s Community Development Department. One of the sites under consideration now for such a center is a Home Depot in Canoga Park. Councilman Dennis Zine, who represents the area, said he would welcome an effectively run program because the issue concerns his constituents. “You go to Home Depot and get bombarded by people looking for work,” Zine said. “I understand them looking for work, but we have a responsibility for maintaining some semblance of order.” Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 dan.laidman@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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