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Construction workers pack Coliseum renovation hiring event; hundreds of jobs available

When ramped up, the project will provide work, benefits and union membership for L.A. County residents and others

Coliseum construction job fair
Carpenter Joseph Chaiatz was among the construction workers lining up for employment at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum job fair. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Local workers lined up early at the main gate of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, ready to apply for work at one of the biggest construction jobs in the area.

Hundreds connected with subcontractor hiring teams and construction trade union representatives, all part of a $270 million renovation of the historic venue managed and operated by USC.

“We’re creating hundreds of construction jobs, and we’ll ramp up to thousands when we hit full speed,” said Thomas S. Sayles, senior vice president for university relations. “As always, we’re focused on local hiring, so the investment benefits our community and our neighbors.”

On-the-job training for local residents

Coliseum construction job fair

The job fair attracted local residents and skilled workers. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

At least 30 percent of construction work at the Coliseum will be done by Los Angeles County residents, some of whom will be new to construction trades. Wages start at $18 per hour. Health benefits, on the job training and union membership begin on day one. Employees who gain experience and union membership can move on to long-term construction careers once the Coliseum renovation wraps up in the fall of 2019.

Experienced workers like Joseph Chaiatz, a United Brotherhood of Carpenters member from of Lynwood, applied for jobs at the hiring event.

“I’m here to make history,” Chaiatz said. “I want to come back and show my kids I was part of something amazing. It’s hard work — you create something with your hands that’ll stand for a long time.”

Coliseum renovation hiring in stages

Crews are working two shifts, with demolition work almost done. Soil exposed by the demolition hasn’t seen daylight since original construction ended in 1923.

USC’s renovations to the Coliseum will transform it into a world-class venue.

Thomas S. Sayles

Electricians, plumbers, concrete and steel workers will be brought in as the renovation progresses. Some work will be suspended during the 2018-19 football season, when Trojan home games will be played at the Coliseum as they have been since the stadium opened almost a century ago. The Los Angeles Rams will continue to play at the Coliseum as well.

When complete, the renovated Coliseum will feature all new seating, improved concessions and updated electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems.

“USC’s renovations to the Coliseum will transform it into a world-class venue,” Sayles said. “Moreover, it is another economic boost to our community.”

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