INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) — The Building Trades, a collective of national and international unions in the building and construction industry, held a press conference on top of the Intuit Dome parking structure Tuesday morning.
Government officials commended the city for mandating local and diverse hires and Building Trades highlighted the hard work of three local apprentices who’ve contributed to the project.
One of them was Inglewood resident Darren Walton, who decided to change careers and is now an inside wireman on the project. He said he’s proud to contribute to the growth of his city.
“We saw a few years ago a lot of folks leaving the community, things not happening and now we’re seeing all this tremendous growth is happening,” said Walton, a second-year electrician apprentice for SASCO Electric. “It’s definitely a great feeling to walk out the door and see that there’s traffic going to the game and see that there’s people coming in and spending money here in Inglewood.”
Inglewood Mayor James Butts said when he took office in 2011, the unemployment rate was 17.5% and now it’s down to 4.7%. He said that’s in large part thanks to the various projects around the city.
“That’s why we love the Building Trades because here’s what you’ve done,” Butts said. “You’ve taken people that were unemployed, underemployed and taught them skills that will last them for a lifetime.”
“Again, it’s not just about basketball, it’s about jobs, it’s about the economy,” said State Sen. Steven Bradford. “This project does that.”
On any given day there’s 1,200 union workers on site working on the $2 billion Intuit Dome project. Designers wanted it to be as environmentally friendly as possible which is why they had their electricians install solar panels on the roof.
“One day you walk through the building and you’re like, ‘Oh wow, we did all this. We did all this together and it looks amazing’ and you’re proud of it,” said Monserrat Roldan, an apprentice iron worker for Schuff Steel. “It feels really good to be part of something big especially when you remember how you and your teammates might have struggled at some point and how you got through it and how you figured this part out or that, and it feels good.”
Project leaders said they’re about 70% done with construction. The new home of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Intuit Dome, is set to open in time for the 2024-25 season.