Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to join labor, business and community leaders at a recognition celebration Monday, June 11th, honoring at-risk individuals who have received perfect job evaluation scores by employers partnered with the Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PVJOBS) construction career program.

The annual awards event, themed “Opening the Doors of Opportunity,” is being launched by Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services, a nonprofit program that provides construction job opportunities to at-risk youths and adults throughout greater Los Angeles.

The event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Monday, June 11th, at the Center at Cathedral Plaza, Temple and Hope Streets, downtown Los Angeles.

Sheet metal worker Damon Walker, from South Central Los Angeles, and laborer Paul Pruden are being honored with Employee of the Year awards for turning around their lives by establishing promising careers in the construction industry, according to the Playa Vista program.

The event will also honor Bishop Noel Jones and Lee Homes for their work in supporting programs that provide meaningful employment opportunities as a pathway to economic self-sufficiency and self-recovery.

In addition, Union of the Year awards will be presented to Laborers Union Local 300 and Electrical Workers Union Local 11 for their efforts in providing training and union entry assistance for qualified applicants from the local at-risk community.

Formed in 1998, Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that works with several major construction projects and provides construction job opportunities to at-risk residents.

These at-risk youths and adults have either come from single-parent homes, have been welfare recipients, did not complete high school, have former gang affiliations, endured homelessness or have been incarcerated.

For these individuals, poor life choices and circumstances made it difficult for them to obtain meaningful career-track living wage employment, according to the Playa Vista organization.

More than 1,400 at-risk individuals have established promising careers through the organization, according to program officials.

Through their work with the organization, the at-risk participants have achieved living wage careers, and have also transformed their lives, officials said.

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