Found Water Art, photograph by Tom Bleicher
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT MET THIS WEEK
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
July 16, 2018
Apprenticeship Program Career Opportunities
Metropolitan has a successful Apprenticeship Program to train mechanical and electrical technicians.  

To promote the program and help with recruitment at desert facilities, new video vignettes are being produced that highlight some of the positive benefits and work/life balance for employees at those locations. The first two videos feature Apprentice Program graduates Greg Bills,  Gina Chavez , and a third video will be out very soon with Bryan McDonald . The videos were produced by External Affairs' Fernando Ojeda-Rios III, Monika Medina and Romeal Hogan.

The state-certified Apprenticeship Program began in 2003 as a partnership between Water System Operations and AFSCME Local 1902. It was created in response to a tight labor market for skilled electricians and mechanics and is overseen by a task force of management and labor representatives.

The program has a six-month “pre-apprentice” probationary term followed by a four-year program. At graduation, participants earn a journey-level certificate, 36 hours of college credits applicable towards an Associate Degree, and an offer of full-time employment at Metropolitan.
Preserving Cultural Treasures and Artifacts
More than 400 years of Los Angeles history sits under Metropolitan's HQ building, according to Environmental Planning’s Michelle Morrison . Before the building was constructed, archaeological excavations found evidence of the Native American village of Yaanga dating back to the 1620s. This village was home to the original Angelenos, and later Spanish and Mexican settlers of the Pueblo de Los Angeles, as well as European-American and Chinese settlers. More recently, the site housed a parking garage built in the 1930s for Union Station.

During the excavation for the current building, vegetable stands, laundries and warehouses were identified as Chinatown businesses. Other artifacts were linked to a more sordid history. The site was partly located on the former “Easy Jeannette Street,” "the largest red light district ever excavated in California," said Dr. Julia Costello, one of the archaeologists directing the dig. The Reform Movement, which took hold around 1902, brought an end to the red-light district.

The HQ construction project, like all of Met's work, was planned to preserve cultural history and archaeological artifacts. A few pictures are shown below.
Artifact collection from Privy 485, Lot 9. Note the array of porcelain tea cups in the center front and the three chamber pots in the middle left.
French Beginnings: Sharing our Culture
While millions celebrated France's World Cup victory yesterday, many at Metropolitan celebrate the country's rich culture all year long thanks to the French Club.

This summer, several HQ employees are teaching a popular French language class , and the 7th Annual French Film Festival continues for three more weeks with lunchtime movies.

It might seem as if this ‘joie de vivre’ has sprung out of thin air, but Water Resource Management engineer Don Bentley and others work hard to plan and organize the festivities.

Don began working at Met in 1994. He enjoys the diversity of cultures among his fellow co-workers and sharing information about his own heritage and Los Angeles' rich French history.

His grandparents emigrated from Brittany, France to Canada and then to California in 1930 to work in the Union Station area. Don recalls his family describing the area in those years as a vibrant French town neighborhood. Near Vignes Street were the original Taix and Phillipe’s French restaurants, both of which were part of the multi-cultural community.

Metropolitan's French Club was created by former employee Manuelle Charbonneau. and Don has led the club in recent years. In addition to the summer classes and film festivals, the group occasionally meets at one of the many French restaurants in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information, contact Don at dbentley@mwdh2o.com
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