Environment & Science

South LA rec center gets greener as workers get training

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Los Angeles city officials Monday unveiled the first of more than a dozen buildings that retrained workers are helping make more energy efficient.

In December, 40 or so L.A. city employees headed for layoffs graduated from a program that trained them in energy and water efficiency, sustainability and environmental health and safety. Federal stimulus money paid for that training – and for 10 other programs that train workers to install pollution-cutting “retrofits” in public buildings.

The Vineyard Recreation Center in South L.A. was the first project completed – chosen in part because it’s in a low-income neighborhood hit hard by the recession. The City of L.A.'s general services department has plans for up to 14 other city buildings to get the green beauty treatment, including libraries and fire stations.

City officials and workforce advocates – like the Apollo Alliance – are looking for more money to pay for more training, and for more retrofits for thousands of municipal buildings that waste energy.