Metro honored at L.A. CARES for Veterans Hiring Program

This morning, Metro was honored at L.A. CARES for its proactive stance in veteran hiring. Currently, there are approximately 600 employees at Metro who have identified with military status, and 100 of them were hired between January 2012 to June 2013. Metro supports the transportation industry goal to increase veteran hiring to 10% – 12% over the next three years. For more information on a careers with Metro, visit Metro’s Careers page.

Here’s the joint press release from The Salvation Army and Jewish Vocational Service on L.A. CARES:

According to a 2013 report from the Department of Labor, there are nearly one million unemployed veterans in the United States. On October 17 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., dynamic efforts to address that sobering statistic will be on display at The Expo Center located at 3980 Bill Robertson Lane, Los Angeles, 90037 where The Salvation Army and JVS Los Angeles will highlight their programs that address veteran unemployment.

L.A. CARES will recognize area businesses that have created successful military hiring initiatives and highlight the nonprofit partnership of The Salvation Army Return-To-Work and JVS Veterans First programs for their forward thinking approaches to the challenges facing returning veterans.

Jan Perry, former L.A. City Councilmember and Interim General Manager of Mayor Garcetti’s Economic and Workforce Development Department will make keynote remarks, introduced by Steve Soboroff, newly-elected President of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

The program will feature a panel discussing best practices in veteran recruitment, hiring and retention, moderated by Keri Dawkins of the U.S. Chamber Heroes To Hire program, with senior representatives from corporate partners Activision/Blizzard, ACET (Adams Communication & Engineering Technology), Bank of America and Vons. Veterans who have gone through The Salvation Army and JVS programs will tell their own personal stories of how they overcame overwhelming obstacles and are now focusing on careers with a future.

“Helping our heroes return to the civilian workforce is a priority for my department,” said Ms. Perry.  “L.A. CARES highlights the critical partnership between social service agencies and the business community as we showcase the unique skill sets and talents veterans bring to prospective employers. I commend The Salvation Army and JVS Los Angeles for their leadership and I thank the employers who have already committed their organizations to breaking down the barriers to employment for our returning service members.”

Panel participants will include: Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of Activision/Blizzard’s Call of Duty Endowment; Marilyn Hayes, Senior Recruiter for ACET; Johnny Montes, Senior Vice President for Los Angeles East region for Bank of America, and Robert De Santiago, Human Resources Manager for Safeway Inc. – Vons Division.

For Media, contact Robert Brennan Director of Media Relations The Salvation Army 818-648-9098 Robert.Brennan@usw.salvationarmy.org  Evan Henerson JVS Media Relations Manager 323-761-8888 x8866 ehenerson@jvsla.org

Mini Blue Line train in service at Wilson Park

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Photos courtesy of Kelly Smith/SCLS

Deep in the heart of Torrance is Wilson Park, where you can ride the miniature rails with the Southern California Live Steamers. It’s a great place to go if you want to learn all there is to know about tracks and trains. They’ve got electric, steam and people powered cars, and best of all they have a fully operational mini Blue Line train in its original livery.

Free public train rides take place on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month. For more information, check the SCLS website. Get to Wilson Park via Torrance Transit on lines 5, 7 or 10.

Metro featured in high-profile Google ad during Grammys

A woman steps inside a Metro train in a new Google ad.

A woman steps inside a Metro train in a new Google ad.

A commercial for Google that aired during the recent Grammy Award Show prominently featured Los Angeles Metro Rail. The ad showcased different scenarios with people in various cities using the new Google Now product. While people in other cities are shown checking the weather or looking up restaurants, the creative team behind the commercial chose to feature Metro Rail and a fashionable transit customer to represent Los Angeles.

Inclusion in this high-profile ad speaks approvingly of Metro’s rebranding and creative services work including maps, mobile apps and overall communications encouraging people to Go Metro.

The favorable ad was seen by 28.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen and reported by the Los Angeles Times–the second-largest audience for the recording industry’s annual awards show in the last 20 years.

New Google product demonstrating how users can check Metro Rail train times

New Google product demonstrating how users can check Metro Rail train times.

Students at summer science camp study the Expo Line

 

Science camps have come a long way since the days of making bottle rockets and building balsa wood bridges. The middle school students attending the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at USC this year were studying urban infrastructure, green technology and how to reduce congestion and pollution through light rail transit. As it so happened, the Expo Line was conveniently available for them to use as a case scenario.

A future urban transportation planner at work! This camper is at the computer programming his robot “train” for its run through the LEGO city.

The 48 campers from grades 6-8 spent two weeks analyzing the Expo Phase II Final Environmental Impact Report, studying the route alignment and designing their own cities and autonomous light rail vehicles. They also got the chance to go on excursions and see the science at work out in the field. Earlier this morning, the students presented their LEGO-made master cities, the robots they designed and programmed to run through those cities (see video posted above, and yes that is this year’s Festival of Books dinosaur in the background) and stated their findings and opinions on the Expo Line Phase II.

While the summer science camp ended today, the campers’ love of science and engineering continue on. Who knows, one of these kids could be designing a real rail system for Metro one day!

Metro Mentions: Good Girl Dinette website

Metro Mentions is a  feature on The Source where we highlight advertisements  we’ve stumbled upon that include Metro access information. Why? In this car-culture town, when local businesses and community organizations voluntarily go out of their way to include transit information in their ads, it raises awareness and informs people of transportation alternatives. Besides, transit info is something commonly seen in ads in other regions. Have you spotted a Metro Mention? Let us know at thesource@metro.net.

A reader sent in this Metro Mention: Good Girl Dinette, a Highland Park eatery specializing in Vietnamese food, makes note of its proximity to Metro Rail on its website. The critically acclaimed diner is just around the corner from the Highland Park Gold Line Station.

A quick glance at the menu reveals super affordable (nothing over $10) Vietnamese comfort foods – and Jonathan Gold lists the Chicken Pot Pie on his 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die list.

Yours truly is likely going to heed this Metro Mention and hop on the Gold Line this weekend to try out Good Girl Dinette. See, it pays to mention Metro!

Metro Mentions: Good Girl Dinette

"2 blocks from the Gold Line" Thanks for the mention!

Metro Mentions: take the Red Line to kickball!

Metro Mentions is a  feature on The Source where we highlight advertisements  we’ve stumbled upon that include Metro access information. Why? In this car-culture town, when local businesses and community organizations voluntarily go out of their way to include transit information in their ads, it raises awareness and informs people of transportation alternatives. Besides, transit info is something commonly seen in ads in other regions. Have you spotted a Metro Mention? Let us know at thesource@metro.net.

Metro Mentions: take the Red Line to kickball!

Click to enlarge.

I spotted this little advertisement for a local adult kickball league in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Downtown News. The ad invites individuals, groups and teams to join the league for a season of games at the Shatto Recreation Center which, the ad informs us, is located right off a Metro Red Line station.

Now the ad doesn’t specify which Red Line station exactly, but a little Google Maps sleuthing reveals that it’s about four blocks away from the Wilshire/Vermont Station which also happens to be a Purple Line stop.

Plus, kickball is only half the fun of joining the league – the other half is partying after the game at The Mexican Village restaurant. League organizers were obviously thinking transit because the restaurant happens to be two blocks from the Vermont/Beverly Red Line Station. That means that after the game it’s a quick car-free ride to the after party.

Metro Mentions: 655 Hope advertisement

Metro Mentions is a  feature on The Source where we highlight advertisements  we’ve stumbled upon that include Metro access information. Why? In this car-culture town, when local businesses and community organizations voluntarily go out of their way to include transit information in their ads, it raises awareness and informs people of transportation alternatives. Besides, transit info is something commonly seen in ads in other regions. Have you spotted a Metro Mention? Let us know at thesource@metro.net.

Metro Mention: 655 Hope
Downtown L.A. is not only the region’s transportation hub, it’s also the hub for luxury high rise loft apartments and condos. 655 Hope is one such luxury residence and it happens to be perched right atop the Hope Street entrance of the 7th Street Metro Center Station in the heart of Downtown’s Financial District.

655 Hope’s 45 loft condominiums have gone up for auction as noted in an advertisement in last Saturday’s L.A. Times Real Estate/New Homes advertising supplement and on 655 Hope’s own website. The list of amenities in the advertisement includes a Metro mention, although a somewhat misinformed one: “Above the Metro Rail/Metrolink Hub Station in Downtown’s Central Business District”.

While it’s true that 7th Street Metro Center is a hub for Metro Rail – the Red Line, Purple Line and Blue Line all serve the station – to claim 655 Hope sits above a Metrolink hub is a bit dubious. Downtown L.A.’s Metrolink hub is Union Station, three subway stops away from 655 Hope. Of course, someone living in the Central Business District would probably have little use for commuter rail anyhow.

Nonetheless, it’s always nice to see public transit listed as an amenity for real estate and hopefully future 655 Hope residents take advantage of the awesome Metro access just below their doorsteps.

Previous Metro Mentions: