SUN VALLEY (May 6, 2023) – More than 1,500 Los Angeles students, community members, employees and prospective job candidates gathered today at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Truesdale Training Center for the inaugural Women’s Career and Wellness Expo. The location usually used for line worker training was transformed to showcase a variety of utility careers, many available to women, in a family-friendly setting. The regional event included a recruitment fair with information about skilled craft and professional jobs at LADWP, along with equipment demonstrations and other hands-on activities.
Board of Water and Power Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill said, “We want women throughout the Los Angeles region to know they have a place to build or advance their career here at LADWP, and there’s no better time for them to consider the array of opportunities open to them than right now. We want and need more female line workers, engineers, security officers, welders — women across the board to work in our water and power systems.” She added, “As we make our transition to 100% clean energy and build our local water supplies, it’s important that we have capable women on the job helping to lead the way. We have great women leaders at LADWP and there’s room for more. We’re intent on making LADWP a workplace where women desire and aspire to be.”
The event aligns with the Department’s goal to help narrow the nation’s gender and racial pay gaps by improving access to employment, promoting the benefits of civil service and union representation, and connecting high school students, particularly underrepresented female students, to career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Out of the more than 11,000 employees working for LADWP, approximately 25 percent are women.
“LADWP is a great place to work with competitive pay, excellent benefits and opportunities for growth and advancement,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “As the provider of critical services to our city, LADWP touches the lives of everyone in L.A. And we are able to do that in large part due to the women in our workforce who are excellent at what they do, and are supported and acknowledged for their contributions. I am thrilled to see this many people come out to our first ever Women’s Career and Wellness Expo. Our hope is that many get to meet the women who work with us and see for themselves how joining our team could be the best career decision they could ever make.”
“IBEW Local 18 is proud to partner with LADWP to mount this historic event to show everyone the benefits of union-represented, civil service jobs,” said Gus Corona, IBEW Local 18 Business Manager. “Through good pay, great benefits and opportunities to advance in your career, this is a rewarding place to work, with work-life balance and perks that ensure a great quality of life. We hope this expo brings back today’s attendees as LADWP employees and union members in the future.”
Booths in the recruitment fair area focused on promoting careers in professional work settings (Customer Service, Engineering, Financial Services) in addition to jobs in skilled crafts or careers that are non-traditional for women (Electrical Mechanic, Load Dispatcher, Heavy Duty Truck Operator, Security Officer and Storekeeper). Attendees were able to discuss careers at LADWP directly with current employees, who helped provide relevant knowledge, experience and expertise. Staff members also participated in live demonstrations focusing on line workers, electric safety and utility equipment.
The Expo’s wellness section showcased benefits offered to LADWP employees, including health and dental plans, retirement, family care and employee resource groups, along with City partners, health and financial services providers, and local women-owned businesses. Families were encouraged to attend with an offering of activities such as a petting zoo and rock-climbing wall to engage young children. Other activities included a program with speakers and a dance party, a financial literacy class, fitness workout and meditation session.
LADWP Building Repairer Alicia Dickerson said, “It is a great feeling to be able to share the passion I have for the work that I do, with young people and adults alike, who could very well make up our future workforce. It was personally fulfilling for me to be a part of this LADWP Women’s Expo to be able to be an ambassador for LADWP and show pride in the work that I perform to serve our city and our community.”
LADWP’s partnerships with local non-profit and community-based organizations helped result in a strong turnout with a “Caravan to a Career” that brought several hundred students to the expo, including from Ulysses S. Grant High School, Unite LA/Avantus Cleantech Career Academy, Central City Neighborhood Partners and Compton Unified School District. The event was conceived by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners and the Department’s Women’s Council, an LADWP employee resource group formed in 2021 with a mission to support, elevate and advance women in the LADWP workforce by promoting opportunities for leadership, mentorship, recognition and work-life balance, while promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.
The Expo was produced entirely in-house by Department staff, with the support of IBEW Local 18. For more information, visit the event website at https://ladwpcommission.com/womens-expo.