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Before, those that knew how to install drywall did this [banging] while on the street. Noise. Not today. Today we have the worker centers. There are seats, sometimes we even fall asleep. In Glendale, they used to fall asleep and others would wake them and tell them to go to work. Woah, I said. Before, that would never happen. The carpenters brought their hammers and tools. And they did this [motion] while on the street. A contractor would come and say, "show me your hands." If you had calluses, they took you to work, and if you didn't they didn't. And if you had good shoes too."
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At the Downtown Community Job Center, workers enter a daily raffle with the hopes of securing some hours of employment at the local warehouses. The availability of free skills workshops can help them obtain a wider array of job opportunities.
On March 11, David Gomez, active member of the Cypress Park Community Job Center, came to the Downtown locale to offer a workshop for approximately 15 day laborers on how to build frames and install drywall in accordance to city codes. Along with other workers, he first built the frame and then proceeded to demonstrate the proper installation of drywall, trade techniques and the adequate handling of tools and materials. While he worked, he answered questions about how much workers should ask to be paid for this type of work and gave some important advice on how the workers can help each other: every time they are sent to work as contractors, they should take along less experienced workers to give them the opportunity at practicing and learning. Helpers should also demonstrate good work ethics and that way, contractors can obtain more contracts and helpers can obtain more work and experience.
Thanks to Evelin Gamboa of the Wilshire/Union Home Depot and Jose Alberto Martinez Gomez for their generous material donations. And thanks to David Gomez of the Cypress Park Community Job Center for offering his time and knowledge to the workers of the Downtown Community Job Center.